NITROUS OXIDE SEDATION IN PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY: A MODIFIED ADMINISTRATION TECHNIQUE
Multiple studies have shown that the prevalence of dental anxiety in children and adolescents ranges from about 5% to about 24% globally. Furthermore, dental fear, anxiety, and low pain tolerance are associated with increased levels of dental caries. In fact, fear of the dentist or behavior management problems can result in untreated caries.
A patient with an uncooperative profile in the pediatric dental office requires a specific approach for safe and effective treatment of the child. If psychological (non-pharmacological?) techniques are unsuccessful, inhalation conscious sedation should be considered as a viable option. Sedation with N2O-O2 is recommended in specific indicated cases when it is supported by behavior control techniques that can provide more safety and comfort for children during the dental treatment. Specific training in this area is fundamental for the professional medical team as well as a deep knowledge of the technique itself.
Nitrous Oxide is usually administered with a nasal mask, which allows the clinician to operate in the oral cavity while the child is continuously breathing the N2O.
This lecture will exhibit the utilization of a modified administration technique involving the use of a facial mask in place of the more common nasal hood. This technique allows the operator to administer nitrous oxide for patients unable to breathe continuously through their nose and very young children who refuse to tolerate the use of a nasal hood.