Informed Consent for Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is an analgesic and mild sedative. It is a very safe gas/oxygen mixture, which is inhaled nasally. The use of  nitrous oxide can help many people learn to cope with the sometimes stressful dental experience. Since nitrous oxide generally provides a pleasant sensation, it enables people to remain relaxed for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide decreases fear, anxiety, apprehension, and pain sensations, but it does not always work for everyone.

 

Nitrous oxide in the dental office is never used as a general anesthetic; it does not put your child “to sleep.” For this reason, local anesthetic may still be necessary, but much more comfortable to receive.

Procedures

A nasal mask is placed on the nose, and the nitrous oxide gas is breathed in.

Benefits

Help with anxiety and pain, gagging, and medically compromised individuals.

Common Risks

  • Excessive Perspiration: Sweating may occur during the procedure, and you may become somewhat flushed during administration of nitrous
  • Expectoration: Removal of secretions may be difficult but can be controlled by use of a suction
  • Behavioral Problems: Some patients will talk You may become difficult to treat because you are so talkative, or  experience vivid dreams associated with physical movement of the body.
  • Shivering: Although not common, shivering can be quite uncomfortable. Shivering usually develops at the end of the sedative procedure, when the nitrous oxide has been turned off.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: This is the most frequent of the side effects of nitrous oxide sedation, but its frequency is  still quite low. It is important to tell the doctor, hygienist, or assistant that you are experiencing some discomfort. The level of nitrous oxide can be adjusted to eliminate this side effect. For this reason we Require nothing to eat or drink 2 hours before your child's dental appointment.

 

Alternative Treatments

Sedation, genaral anesthesia or no treatment

Consequences of Not Performing These Procedures

Fears and/or anxiety about the dental experience and/or avoidance of future dental appointments, if not diminished by the use of nitrous oxide sedation, may precipitate other medical problems, including fainting, palpitation, and other heart-related disorders.

Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure that your child's nitrous oxide administration is completed sucessfully, although it is not possible to guarantee perfect results. Please be advised that the fee for nitrous oxide administration whether it was succesful in your child or not is non-refundable.

By signing below, you acknowledge that you have received adequate information about the proposed procedures, that you understand this information, and that all of your questions have been answered fully.