General abstract


British Dental Journal 207, 171 - 175 (2009)
Published online: 22 August 2009 | doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.2009.717

Subject Category: Medical matters

Obesity and dentistry: a growing problem

D. Reilly1, C. A. Boyle2 & D. C. Craig3

  • Reviews obesity and its consequences from a dental perspective.
  • Highlights specific challenges, in particular in relation to conscious sedation, that may exist when treating obese patients and the lack of evidence based guidance in the literature.
  • Makes practical recommendations for managing obese patients who require dental care.


Obesity has increased at an alarming rate in recent years. It is now a worldwide public health problem. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies obesity as a chronic disease. Affected individuals are at increased risk of hypertension, heart disease and other illnesses. There are also important social implications.

Within dentistry and particularly in the provision of conscious sedation, obesity can be a potential complicating factor. For example, the position of anatomical landmarks may be less obvious if surrounded by fatty tissue. Very obese patients may be housebound or have difficulty accessing dental surgeries. Dental chairs may not be of an appropriate design to accommodate some obese patients. However, little information or advice on this topic is available in the literature.

This article reviews obesity from a dental perspective. Challenges in providing dental care for obese patients are identified and practical recommendations made for their management.

Top
  1. Senior Dental Officer, Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust, Barkantine Dental Clinic, 121 Westferry Road, London, E14 8JH
  2. Consultants in Special Care Dentistry, Department of Sedation and Special Care Dentistry, Kings College London Dental Institute at Guy's, Kings College and St Thomas' Hospitals, Floor 26, Tower Wing Great Maze Pond, London, SE1 9RT
  3. Consultants in Special Care Dentistry, Department of Sedation and Special Care Dentistry, Kings College London Dental Institute at Guy's, Kings College and St Thomas' Hospitals, Floor 26, Tower Wing Great Maze Pond, London, SE1 9RT

Correspondence to: C. A. Boyle2 e-mail: carole.boyle@kcl.ac.uk




Extra navigation

Subscribe to British Dental Journal

Subscribe

BDJ Jobs

    ADVERTISEMENT