J Dent Anesth Pain Med.  2017 Jun;17(2):91-103. 10.17245/jdapm.2017.17.2.91.

The use of general anesthesia to facilitate dental treatment in adult patients with special needs

  • 1Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. mathewl@student.unimelb.edu.au


General anesthesia is commonly used to facilitate dental treatment in patients with anxiety or challenging behavior, many of whom are children or patients with special needs. When performing procedures under general anesthesia, dental surgeons must perform a thorough pre-operative assessment, as well as ensure that the patients are aware of the potential risks and that informed consent has been obtained. Such precautions ensure optimal patient management and reduce the frequency of morbidities associated with this form of sedation. Most guidelines address the management of pediatric patients under general anesthesia. However, little has been published regarding this method in patients with special needs. This article constitutes a review of the current literature regarding management of patients with special needs under general anesthesia.


Anesthesia; Dental Anxiety; Dental Care for Disabled; Dental Care for Chronically Ill; Dentistry for handicapped; General Anesthesia

MeSH Terms

Anesthesia, General*
Dental Anxiety
Dental Care for Chronically Ill
Dental Care for Disabled
Informed Consent

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