From Restraint to Medical Immobilization/Protective Stabilization

Dent Clin North Am. 2022 Apr;66(2):261-275. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2022.01.005.


Clinical dental treatment is the most exacting and demanding medical procedure that persons with special needs undergo on a regular basis throughout their lifetime. Dental treatment is surgical in nature, usually requiring controlled placement of sharpened instrumentation in intimate proximity to the face, airway, and highly vascularized and inner aged oral tissues. Although approximately 90% of patients with special needs can and should be mainstreamed through any general dental practice, without significant behavioral guidance, techniques, or medical immobilization/protective stabilization, there has been a drastic shift toward pharmacologic management of these patients using various forms of sedation and general anesthesia.

Keywords: Behavior guidance; Medical immobilization/protective stabilization; Restraint.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, General*
  • Humans
  • Restraint, Physical*