The influence of general health on the need for dental general anaesthesia in children
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To analyse the occurrence and causes of dental general anaesthesia (DGA) in healthy and medically compromised children, and to investigate if there are differences between those groups considering factors associated with DGA and DGA procedures.
The data was collected from medical records of children under 7 years of age treated under DGA in the years 2009 and 2010 at the Oulu University Hospital, Finland. The children were divided into two groups: 0–35-month-olds and ≥36-month olds. Background information (year, age, gender, dental diagnosis, health) and the procedures performed were registered. The procedures were analysed considering the child’s age and tooth types.
The number of children treated under DGA increased between 2009 (58) and 2010 (82), particularly in the group of healthy children. The two main diagnoses leading to DGA were dental caries and dental fear. Dental caries as the first dental diagnosis leading to DGA was more common among the medically compromised children (61.5%) compared to the healthy children (38.6%). The procedures performed were similar among the two groups. However, they varied between the age groups and tooth types and even between upper and lower teeth. The medically compromised children had been treated more frequently under DGA in the past.
The threshold for treating medically compromised children under DGA seems to be lower than for healthy children. However, the occurrence of DGA among healthy children has increased recently. To avoid unnecessary DGA, the control of caries should be carried out according to individual needs and independent of whether the child is healthy or has a chronic disease.
KeywordsGeneral health Dental general anaesthesia Caries Children Medically compromised
The authors would like to thank nurse Sirkka Leipälä for helping with the data collection.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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