Use of Nitrous Oxide for Pediatric Dental Patients
The goal of this best practice is to provide dental professionals with recommendations on the safe and appropriate use of nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia/anxiolysis for treating children. Recommendations for use of nitrous oxide/oxygen address indications and contraindications considering the advantages and disadvantages of this inhalation method of analgesia/anxiolysis management. Factors to consider before using nitrous oxide/oxygen for pediatric patient treatment include: the patient’s physical and emotional development, medical and dental histories, and dental treatment needed; alternative behavior guidance options; credentials and training of the dentist and other dental personnel; equipment and facilities; administration techniques and monitoring of use; potential adverse effects and outcomes; and employee occupational safety. Documentation of its use is discussed. Judicious use of nitrous oxide/oxygen can provide a safe and effective method of controlling anxiety associated with dental treatment in infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs.
This document was developed through a collaborative effort of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Councils on Clinical Affairs and Scientific Affairs to offer updated information and recommendations for dental professionals regarding development of safe practices in using nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia/anxiolysis for pediatric dental patients.
KEYWORDS: CHILD, ADOLESCENT, ANALGESIA, ANXIETY, ANTI-ANXIETY, HEALTH CARE DELIVERY, OXYGEN, NITROUS OXIDE