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16.03.2019 | Original Scientific Article

Reaction times of children having nitrous oxide inhalation sedation for dental procedures

Zeitschrift:
European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry
Autoren:
A. Lyne, J. Johnson, D. Baldwin
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Abstract

Background

Inhalation sedation (IHS), using nitrous oxide and oxygen, is a commonly used form of pharmacological behaviour management in paediatric dentistry. Previous studies suggest that IHS causes a delay in reaction time, which recovers to baseline within 10 min.

Aim

To observe the reaction times (RT) of children before and after undergoing IHS for dental treatment.

Design

Sixty children from clinics at St Thomas’ Hospital (London, UK) participated in this observational study. RT was measured using an eight-point choice reaction time system (MOART computer panel, Lafayette Instruments). RT was measured twice: before (prior to patient entering clinic for treatment) and after (immediately after discharge from the clinic). A paired-samples t test was used to analyse data.

Results

Fifty-two patients completed the study. There was a statistically significant delay in RT after treatment (p = 0.022). There was no significant correlation between RT and concentration of nitrous oxide, or length of the recovery period.

Conclusion

Children may have a small impairment in reaction times following recovery from IHS in the clinical setting, regardless of the strength of nitrous oxide given, or the length of the recovery period. The child’s escort should be aware of the need to supervise the child following discharge.

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