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Open Access Research article

Practices and opinions on nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation from dentists licensed to perform relative analgesia in Brazil

Anelise Daher1, Renata Pinheiro Lima Hanna2, Luciane Rezende Costa3* and Cláudio Rodrigues Leles4

Author Affiliations

1 Health Science Program, Federal University of Goias, Goiania, Goias, Brazil

2 Dental Service, Unified National Health System, Goiania, Goias, Brazil

3 Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Goias, 1a Avenida, s/n, Setor Universitário, 74605-220, Goiania, Goias, Brazil

4 Department of Prevention and Oral Rehabilitation, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Goias, Goiania, Goias, Brazil

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BMC Oral Health 2012, 12:21  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-12-21

Published: 18 July 2012

Abstract

Background

Relative analgesia (RA), defined as the use of inhalation sedation with nitrous oxide and oxygen, is one of the most common pharmacological behavior management techniques used to provide sedation and analgesia for dental patients. This study aimed to assess RA licensed Brazilian dentists’ practices and opinions about nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation in the dental setting.

Methods

A cross sectional national survey was conducted with 281 dentists who were certified to perform RA, using an electronically mailed self-administered questionnaire containing closed questions about their practices and opinions regarding RA. Practice and opinion were individually analyzed by descriptive statistics. Non-parametric tests assessed the relationships between RA practice and independent variables. To test the interplay between practices and opinions, a k-means clusters analysis was used to divide the group for statistical comparisons.

Results

The response rate was 45.2%. Women made up 64.6% of the respondents, the mean age was 39.1 years (SD = 9.8), and the mean time since graduation in dentistry was 16 years (SD = 9.7). Seventy-seven percent of respondents reported the use of RA in clinical practice, most of them ‘sometimes’ (53.5%), and focusing more on adult patients. Patients with certain physical or mental deficiencies were indications associated with RA practice. ‘Equipment acquisition’ (p < 0.001) and ‘living in Southeast and South regions’ (p < 0.02) were also associated with RA practice. The scores for dentists’ opinions ranged from 15 to 41 points (mean 29.2, SD = 5.6), based on nine items scored from 1 to 5. Two clusters representing more favorable (n = 65) and less favorable (n = 55) opinions were established. Dentists who were women (p = 0.04), practiced RA in dental settings (p < 0.01) or practiced it frequently (p < 0.001), had more favorable opinions about RA.

Conclusion

Most of the RA licensed Brazilian dentists interviewed currently use RA. Current practice of RA and frequency of use determined the degree of favorable opinion about this inhalation sedation among this group of respondents.

Keywords:
Relative Analgesia; Nitrous Oxide; Dental Clinics; Cross Sectional Survey