Nitrous oxide Consent Form

Nitrous Oxide Sedation DentistryBecause of the ease of use, excellent safety record, and the many advantages vs other sedation methods, the use of nitrous oxide for dental sedation continues to increase in the US and the rest of the world. However each country (and many states in US) have different regulations on who and how can use nitrous oxide for sedation purposes.

Nitrous oxide is a colorless gas with a slight sweet odor and taste, which has analgesic and anxiolytic properties. It is an inhalation sedative; sedation is achieved by inhaling a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask placed over the nose. It reduces anxiety, pain, and memory of the treatment experienced.

The main steps in the process of nitrous oxide administration are the following:

1. Patient evaluation and preparation for nitrous oxide sedation

Although N2O can be used for most of the patients, some nitrous oxide contraindications do exist for patients with certain conditions. The dentist must make sure that the patient is a suitable candidate for nitrous oxide sedation.

Medical history - An updated full medical and dental history of the patient must always be taken before any kind of sedation. If there is any concern or doubt, the patient’s physician must be consulted. The dentist will also ask if the patient had any problems or side effects in the past related to N2O usage.

Informed consent – In some countries the patient (or parent in case of children) must sign an informed consent form before receiving treatment (it is essential in countries like U.S. where malpractice lawsuits are common).

Patient instructions – The dentist must explain to the patient all the details of the procedure (and possible N2O side effects) and discuss what the patient must do if he has a problem during the course of treatment. Written instructions must be given to the patient concerning proper behavior before, during and after the procedure.

Final health assessment – Immediately before the administration of the nitrous oxide the dentist will do a final health assessment of the patient, asking for any recent health issues or symptoms, and measuring the patient’s vital signs (blood pressure and heart rate). Normal breathing rate is also recorded so that the correct volume of mixture is applied for the sedation.

Airway evaluation – The patient must be able to breath freely from the nose without problems. Free nasal airways are very important for proper inhalation sedation. If the nose is temporarily blocked, either the treatment must be postponed or another form of sedation should be used.

Patient relaxation – The patient is placed on the dental chair and the dentist creates a comfortable environment before administering the sedation. Relaxing music or television may be used to relax and also distract patients from their anxiety. A pillow or a blanket may also be provided to increase comfort.

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