To determine the acceptability and efficacy of nitrous oxide inhalation sedation for dental treatment to children and to
compare these results with the responses of both the accompanying adult and the treating dentist. STUDY DESIGN: A prospective,
questionnaire-based survey was used.
Fifty consecutive patients (ASA I and II) attending the Department of Paediatric
Dentistry, Edinburgh Dental Institute, between 2002 and 2003 for dental treatment using nitrous oxide inhalation sedation were recruited
for the study. Each patient, the accompanying adult and the dental sedationist completed a short questionnaire which sought details
about the acceptability and efficacy of the sedation technique. Overall behaviour and the outcome of treatment were assessed by the
dentist providing sedation using the Frankl and Houpt Behaviour Rating Scales respectively.
Three sets of questionnaires
were completed for fifty patients (M:27; F:23), mean age 10.4 years (range: 5.3-15.8 years). Acceptance of both local analgesia and
dental treatment was perceived as greater amongst patients and carers compared with treating dentists (=11.31, P=0.004, 2
df and =22.52, P<0.001, 2 df respectively). Furthermore, dentists observed that inhalation sedation helped fewer male patients with local analgesia and fewer female patients with dental treatment (=6.83, P<0.009, 1 df and =3.85, p<0.050, 1 df respectively). A greater proportion of dentists observed that patients would manage treatment without sedation and would not require sedation for future dental treatment than both patients and their accompanying carer (=8.00, P<0.018, 2 df and =18.61, P<0.001, 2 df respectively). In general, the majority of patients were co-operative and successfully completed dental treatment with inhalation sedation.
Dentists' perception of nitrous oxide inhalation sedation was
generally less enthusiastic than that of patients and carers.
Vol.6 – n.1/2005
Harvard: J. Foley (2005) "Nitrous oxide inhalation sedation: what do patients, carers and dentists think about it?", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 6(1), pp23-29. doi:
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