Nitrous Oxide Conscious Sedation

Nitrous oxide plays a vital role in creating a euphoric hypnotic state and positive hypnotic suggestions enhance the experience. Nitrous oxide conscious sedation is an important adjunct in the contemporary dental practice.

Various studies of the relationship between dental phobia and sensitivity to pain experienced by dental patients, indicate that the higher the anxiety, the greater the pain experienced. Dental discomfort can, however, be eliminated without the use of drugs. Holden (1983) writes, 'It is a misconceived idea that sedation, in its strictest sense, for the purpose of pain and anxiety control in dentistry, must consist of pharmacological involvement'. He further suggests that the use of drugs to control discomfort may often be reduced or eliminated by 'the application of methods based on an understanding of psychosomatic principles and applied psychology which may, or may not, involve the use of suggestion or hypnosis.'

The benefits of nitrous oxide/oxygen are widely recognized. Giovannitti (1985) cites an early study which demonstrated that 20% nitrous oxide was equivalent to 15 mg of subcutaneously administered morphine. More recent studies have shown that nitrous oxide can diminish both the sensory and affective components of pain. Empirically, nitrous oxide/oxygen has increased success by enormous proportions. A clinical study conducted by Quarnstrom & Milgrom (1989). found that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) alone used as an anesthetic resulted in 53% of patients experiencing an acceptable level of pain (slight or none), whereas TENS used in conjunction with nitrous oxide/oxygen resulted in 82% of patients experiencing pain reduction to an acceptable level. Also, morbidity and mortality due to nitrous oxide can be linked exclusively to arterial hypoxia, a condition which develops when the nitrous oxide concentration rises above 80%.

Nitrous oxide has been shown to emulate and enhance the hypnotic state. Goepherd et al. (1985) wrote that when hypnotic suggestion is combined with nitrous oxide, in general the patient is able to attain a therapeutic state of relaxation, euphoria and/or sedation with decreased levels of nitrous oxide. In addition the use of nitrous oxide enhances the patient's response to suggestion even in an otherwise resistant patient. As well as its apparent trance-inducing effects, the gas also preserves both deep tendon and protective reflexes, and the airway is maintained in a clear state.

A Practial Guide To Self Hypnosis

A Practial Guide To Self Hypnosis

Hypnosis has been defined as a state of heightened suggestibility in which the subject is able to uncritically accept ideas for self-improvement and act on them appropriately. When a hypnotist hypnotizes his subject, it is known as hetero-hypnosis. When an individual puts himself into a state of hypnosis, it is known as self-hypnosis.

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