Evaluation of general anesthesia and sedation during dental treatment in patients with special needs: A retrospective study

J Dent Anesth Pain Med. 2019 Aug;19(4):191-199. doi: 10.17245/jdapm.2019.19.4.191. Epub 2019 Aug 30.


Background: Patients with special health care needs are more likely to develop health problems, including dental problems. Dental treatments require a good level of communication with the patient. Therefore, in these patients, sedation and general anesthesia are an extremely humanistic approach for comfortable and successful treatment. In patients with special needs, there is no standard anesthetic approach due to varying clinical conditions. The aim of this study was to provide literature content about the anesthetic approaches used by us in patients with special needs.

Methods: The medical records of 710 patients with special health care needs treated under general anesthesia or sedation were reviewed retrospectively. Demographic data, the American Society of Anesthesiologists classification, Mallampati score, anesthesia duration, anesthesia type, anesthetic and analgesic agents used, dental treatment performed, secondary diseases, and complications in the perioperative period were recorded. Patients were evaluated under five groups: Down syndrome, other syndromes, psychiatric disorders, physical disabilities, and complicated medical story.

Results: Among the patients evaluated, 47.5% were females and 52.5% were males (mean age 15.76 ± 11.17 years), and general anesthesia and sedation were administered in 72.9% and 22.1% patients, respectively. The mean duration of anesthesia was 43.20 ± 35.85 min. Simple dental treatments were performed in all groups, and the most common complications were observed in the other syndromes group.

Conclusion: Complications can be reduced by utilizing the appropriate anesthetic approach and taking serious precautions in patients with special needs.

Keywords: Anesthesia; Dental Care; General Anesthesia.