Nitrous Oxide for Dental Procedures in Pediatric Patients with Sickle Cell Disease: A Pilot Study

Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) require maintenance of low levels of stress, making sedation through nitrous oxide a valuable tool for the patient with SCD anxious about receiving dental care. However, adequate blood oxygen levels are needed to avoid sickle cell crisis, and evidence points to severe, rare complications for these patients when nitrous oxide is used for extended periods. There is not existing evidence that shows that blood oxygen drops when N20 is administered 50:50 with O2, so the authors of this article undertook a pilot study to understand further the level of safety nitrous oxide sedation in dental treatment of children with SCD. Finding that 50:50 N20:O2 mix for sedation per the AAPD guidelines increased blood oxygen levels, and did not cause postoperative complications, they conclude that nitrous oxide with oxygen mixture at a level up to 50% nitrous oxide is safe and effective treatment for pediatric patients with SCD. The article notes that this is the first formal study confirming the safety of nitrous oxide for children with sickle cell disease being cared for at the dentist. To read "Nitrous Oxide for Dental Procedures in Pediatric Patients with Sickle Cell Disease: A Pilot Study", click here.

Authors: Brittaney Hill, Marcio A da Fonesca and Lewis L Hsu

Publication: Pediatric Dentistry, November 2021