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04.03.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 11/2019 Open Access

Clinical Oral Investigations 11/2019

Dental treatment under general anesthesia in adults with special needs at the University Hospital of Dental Prosthetics and Restorative Dentistry of Innsbruck, Austria: a retrospective study of 12 years

Clinical Oral Investigations > Ausgabe 11/2019
Dagmar Schnabl, Annachiara Guarda, Maria Guarda, Lia Marie Irmtraut von Spreckelsen, Marina Riedmann, Rene Steiner, Herbert Dumfahrt
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Special needs patients are prone to insufficient oral care and subsequent caries or periodontitis. The aim of this retrospective study was the assessment of demand for restorative therapy and tooth extractions under general anesthesia in adults with intellectual and/or physical disablement (IPD) or psychiatric disorders (PDs) with inherent dentist phobia at the University Hospital of Innsbruck with regard to demographic factors.

Materials and methods

A total of 444 consecutive cases of scheduled dental general anesthesia (DGA) in adults from 2003 to 2014 were included. From patient files, demographic data, the presence of either IPD or a PD, attested by a mandatory certificate, and restorative therapy and tooth extractions performed under DGA were obtained. Data analysis was carried out by means of descriptive and comparative statistics.


Four hundred two cases (mean age 37.5 ± 13.87 years) assigned to 283 individuals with IPD and 42 cases (mean age 36.09 ± 13.03 years) assigned to 39 individuals with PDs arose in the observed period. Patients with PDs required significantly more restorations (in 7.98 ± 5.4 versus 5.34 ± 4.41 teeth; p = 0.002; Mann-Whitney U test) and extractions (of 4.86 ± 4.51 versus 2.6 ± 3.96 teeth; p < 0.001; Mann-Whitney U test) than patients with IPD.


Demand for dental treatment was high in the collective of special needs patients. Oral health status was worse in patients with PDs than in patients suffering IPD.

Clinical relevance

While in patients with severe disablement, DGA presents the only treatment option, specific preventive programs should be implemented for patients with minor disablement or dentist phobia. In these patients, alternative approaches should be promoted.

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