J Dent Anesth Pain Med.  2021 Oct;21(5):461-469. 10.17245/jdapm.2021.21.5.461.

Analysis of behavioral management for dental treatment in patients with dementia using the Korean National Health Insurance data

  • 1Department of Dental Anesthesiology, School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Dankook University Sejong Dental Hospital, Sejong, Korea


The global population is aging rapidly, and accordingly, the number of patients with dementia is increasing every year. Although the need for dental treatment increases for various reasons in patients with dementia, they cannot cooperate during dental treatment. Therefore, behavioral management, including sedation (SED) or general anesthesia (GA), is required for patients with dementia. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the trends and effects of SED or GA in patients with dementia undergoing dental treatment in South Korea based on the Korean National Health Insurance claims data.
This study utilized customized health information data provided by the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service. Among patients with records of using sedative drugs during dental treatment from January 2007 to September 2019, patients with the International Classification of Diseases-10 code for dementia (F00, F01, F02, F03, and G30) were selected. We then analyzed the full insurance claims data for dental care. Age, sex, sedative use, and dental treatment of patients were analyzed yearly. In addition, the number of cases of GA or SED per year was analyzed, and changes in behavioral management methods with increasing age were investigated.
Between January 2007 and September 2019, a total of 4,383 (male, 1,454; female, 2,929) patients with dementia received dental treatment under SED or GA. The total number of SED and GA cases were 1,515 (male, 528 ; female, 987 ) and 3,396 (male, 1,119 ; female, 2,277) cases, respectively. The total number of cases of dental treatment for 4,383 patients with dementia was 153,051 cases, of which 2.22% were under GA and 0.98% were under SED. Midazolam was the most commonly used drug for SED.
Although gingivitis and pulpitis were the most common reasons for patients with dementia to visit the dentist, GA or SED for patients with dementia was frequently used in oral and maxillofacial or periodontal surgery.


Alzheimer Disease; Dementia; Dental Treatment; General Anesthesia; National Health Insurance; Sedation
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