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ASDC J Dent Child. 1991 Nov-Dec;58(6):453-7.

Dental treatment of fearful children, using nitrous oxide. Part I: Treatment times.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, ACTA, Amsterdam, Holland.


This study investigated the influence of nitrous oxide on treatment time when it is used as an additional aid to behavior management. Different parts of the treatment of highly anxious child dental patients may vary during sequential dental visits, and separate consecutive parts of the treatment were considered in terms of their duration. Fifty-six children between the ages of six and eleven, each with a previous negative dental experience, were selected. They were randomly assigned into one of two matching groups: one with behavioral management only (control); the other also having nitrous oxide sedation (experimental). Interval 1, involved getting used to the procedures; interval 2 was sedation; interval 3, local anesthesia; and interval 4, preparation and filling. Most children required between four and six sessions. Results show that in terms of total treatment time (TTT), the use of nitrous oxide does not save time, although dental treatment did not require a greater number of sessions. For the dentist to erase the negative imprint of a previous dental experience, special skills are required. Further research is advised concerning the anxiety levels of this age-group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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