Patient compliance is of paramount importance for proper dental treatment, which can be difficult to achieve in children due to anxiety and fear, hindering the therapeutic procedure. In addition to well-known sedation methods (pharmacological and nitrous oxide), further methods of approach are being tested, such as hypnotherapy.
Material and methods
The sample consisted of 150 children (90 males, 60 females). Paper questionnaires, frequency meter, nitrous oxide dispenser in association with the use of the television were exploited. At the end of treatment, subjective pain was assessed using the VAS scale, while objective pain was assessed using the FLACC scale and heart rate. This made it possible to compare two experimental groups, one treated with nitrous oxide, and the other with hypnotherapy. The control group was treated with classic behavioural approach techniques. The results obtained were analysed by SPSS Software (Statistical Package for Social Science, version 27) and the inferences between the results were calculated for confirmation.
Significant differences were found between the two experimental groups and the control group (p=0.05). The results show that patients in the nitrous oxide group perceived less pain unlike the others, most likely because the nitrous oxide is a pain reliever. Furthermore, during treatment, the heart rate of the patient treated with hypnotherapy is low, similarly to that of patients treated with nitrous oxide.
Hypnotherapy can be a valid substitute for nitrous oxide in paediatric dentistry.
Vol.24 – n.3/2023
Harvard: M. Tieri, A. Cosi, L. Lombardi, V. De Icco, S. D’Ercole, R. Ferdeghini, D. Tripodi (2023) "Nitrous oxide and hypnotherapy in paediatric dentistry", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 24(3), pp229-237. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2023.1932
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