Purpose: The purposes of this study were to determine if young children with rampant dental caries that received complete dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia: 1.) weighed less preoperatively compared to national norms; and 2.) demonstrated significant improvement postoperatively in percentile weight gain and/or quality of life indicators.
Methods: The preoperative and postoperative percentile weights based on national norms were calculated for children, aged 2-7 years old, with non-significant medical histories (absence of systemic illness) that underwent rehabilitation for rampant dental caries under general anesthesia. Changes in the quality of the children's life following dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia were determined from parental report.
Results: The results showed that there was a slight, non-significant increase in the mean percentile weight following dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia. There was no significant effect on the mean net percentile weight change based on the chronological age or weighing interval. There was, however, a significant improvement in the children's quality of life as reported by their parents.
Conclusions: Contrary to previous reports, the mean percentile weight of children with rampant dental caries was not below the 50th percentile and the slight gain in percentile weight following dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia was not indicative of a "catch-up growth" phenomenon. There was, however, a significant improvement in the children's quality of life as based upon parental report and confirmed in a previous investigations.