Purpose: The purpose of this study was to review data from the province of Alberta, Canada for First Nations children who required more than 1 general anesthesia (GA) procedure for dental surgery from 1996 to 2005.
Methods: This study was limited to First Nations and Inuit children younger than 18 years old in Alberta who received 2 or more GA procedures to facilitate dental treatment Data spanning 1996 to 2005 were provided from the Alberta Regional Office of First Nations & Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada.
Results: The entire database contained claims for 339 children who received repeat GA procedures for rehabilitative dental core. Seventy-six percent received 2 procedures, while the remainder underwent 3 or more surgeries. Twenty-four percent of First Nations children in this cohort were subjected to >2 GA procedures. Retreatment of previously restored teeth was a common observation. The majority of children were treated by general practitioners instead of pediatric dentists. Seventy-four percent who had 2 or more surgeries were treated by general dentists at the time of the first GA procedure. The mean age of children at the time of the first GA procedure was not associated with whether children received 2 or more GA procedures for dental care (P=.07).
Conclusions: These data suggest that there may be on over-reliance on GA to treat dental caries for First Notions children in Alberta.