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Article: Volume 47 Number 11 Page 960 - December 2020

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  Dent Update 2020; 47: 960-962

Paediatric dentistry:  Paediatric dental treatment under inhalation sedation by a therapist in secondary care: an audit

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Abstract: We investigated the success of paediatric dental treatment under inhalation sedation (IHS) with nitrous oxide completed by a dental therapist, as an alternative to general anaesthesia (GA) in secondary care. We found that 94% of had treatment successfully completed under IHS by a therapist. These patients were assessed as being suitable for IHS and were referred to the therapist via a new patient clinic. The success of therapists treating paediatric patients with IHS could help reduce pressure on GA waiting lists. As well as being a safer treatment option, this method allows effective conservative treatment to be completed and thereby reducing the number of extractions required, which is a major benefit to patients’ future health and wellbeing.

Clinical relevance: This study shows the success of treatment under inhalation sedation by a dental therapist. Appropriate referral to therapists has the potential to reduce the need for procedures under general anaesthesia. This has the affect of reducing the strain on our general anaesthetic waiting lists, as well as having a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our patients with IHS being considered the safer option.

Author notes: Elara Palmer, BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy, Sarah-Jayne Campbell, BChD, DCT1 and Lee Foo, St George's Hospital, Tooting, London, SW17 0QT. email:

Objective: The reader should understand the clinical and practical benefits of inhalation over general anaesthesia in secondary care.

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