Course Description

This two-day hands-on course offers both didactic and clinical hands-on instructions in all aspects of nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation in general practice.

Participant must take the medical emergencies (lecture & hands-on) course as a prerequisite to this course and must hold a current Heart and Stroke BLS certification for health care professionals.

This course will fulfill the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia guidelines for the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen conscious sedation in dentistry.

Course Outline

This course will provide the dentist with an integrated overview of the physiology and pharmacology of nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation. During the course, participants will receive both didactic and clinical “hands on” training in the administration of nitrous oxide. The didactic lectures will cover the following topics:

  • Overview of anxiety and sedation definitions.
  • Assessing the patient for minimal sedation.
  • Pharmacology of nitrous oxide.
  • Respiratory physiology.
  • Nitrous oxide equipment, installation, and scavenging.
  • Complications of sedation and their management.
  • Nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation technique.
  • The pediatric patient.
  • Monitoring for sedation.

Reference material will be provided to the course participants prior to the course for self-study purposes. A self-assessment quiz will be provided to assist the participants in identifying areas of weakness. At the beginning of the course, each participant will be provided with a course package containing copies of the power point slides for the lectures in notes format. The clinical “hands on” training will allow the participant to learn the basic nitrous oxide administration technique by performing these techniques on fellow course participants. This will be carried out under the supervision of members of the Faculty of Dentistry.

The following techniques will be taught and evaluated during the “hands on” portion of the course:

  • BP skills assessment.
  • Use of tanks – N2O & O2.
  • Pulse oximeter skills and other monitoring devices.
  • Administration of N2O/O2 – incremental and rapid induction techniques.

What You Will Learn

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Be competent in the safe administration of minimal sedation via inhalation.
  • Understand the principles of managing medical emergencies that may arise.
  • Comprehend the spectrum of sedation and be able to characterize and recognize conscious sedation from deep sedation.
  • Understand the basics of respiratory physiology which are required for safe use of N2O sedation.
  • Be knowledgeable in the pharmacology of N2O.
  • Understand how to reduce N2O exposure to healthcare providers.
  • Identify relative contraindications for N2O sedation.
  • Describe the components and function of N2O/O2 delivery systems, and demonstrate their proper use.
  • Comprehend the unique considerations for pediatric patients.
  • Describe and demonstrate assessment of vital signs, appropriate monitoring and discharge criteria for patients sedated with N2O.


Instructors: Dr. Chris Lee, DDS, MSc, GPR | Dr. Shannon Fitzpatrick, BSc, DDS, Cert Ped, FRCDC, DABPD

Dr. Chris Lee completed an MSc in pharmacology at the University of Ottawa before attending dental school at Dalhousie University. He completed a general practice residency program at Vancouver General Hospital and he practised in Ottawa before returning to Nova Scotia to design and implement a GPR program at the Faculty of Dentistry and run the emergency dental clinic. He is a consultant to the National Dental Examination Board of Canada.

Dr. Shannon Fitzpatrick completed her dental degree at Dalhousie University and practiced general dentistry for several years, first in Ottawa then in Prince Edward Island with the public health dental program for children. In 2017, she completed her paediatric specialist training at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health in Rochester, N.Y. and joined IWK Health as a staff paediatric dentist. In addition to teaching and supervision of dental residents at the hospital, she teaches in the Faculty of Dentistry at Dalhousie University. Dr. Fitzpatrick holds fellowship with the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.


Participant must take the medical emergencies (lecture & hands-on) course and pass the test, as a prerequisite to this course and must hold a current Heart and Stroke BLS certification for health care professionals.

Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrolment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrolment opens.
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