Nitrous oxide and oxygen (N2O/O2) in combination have been used safely and successfully for over 160 years to assist in the management of pain and anxiety. Dr. Horace Wells, a dentist in the early 1800s, dedicated his life to promoting its use for both dental and medical procedures. Because of his persistence in advocating the use of nitrous oxide as a method of pain control, he was posthumously recognized as the “Discoverer of Anesthesia.” Since that time, N2O/O2 has been commonly used in many dental specialties. Other health disciplines have also benefited.
In many instances, patients present to medical and dental offices with both pain and anxiety. It is necessary to manage both, since they are interrelated. Nitrous oxide and oxygen sedation can assist patients with their pain and anxiety and can be employed safely and effectively with minimal concerns.
This course will teach about the desirable characteristics of nitrous oxide, indications and contraindications for N2O/O2 use as well as facts and myths surrounding chronic exposure to nitrous oxide, the biologic effects associated with high levels of the gas, and ways to assess and minimize trace gas contamination in an outpatient setting.