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Trends in exodontia under general anaesthesia at a dental teaching hospital


Aims: To survey the use of simple exodontia for children under general anaesthesia on an out-patient basis at a Northern Dental Hospital. To monitor any effects resulting from the introduction of the Poswillo guidelines on the referral for and treatment of patients under general anaesthesia.

Design: A retrospective longitudinal analysis.

Setting: A Northern Dental Hospital in England.

Materials: Information was recorded from original case records of children undergoing exodontia under general anaesthesia on an out-patient basis during October between 1989 and 1997.

Results: The mean and modal age of the children decreased from 7.7 years to 6.0 years respectively in 1989 to 5.7 years and 4.0 years in 1997. The proportion receiving a general anaesthetic for orthodontic extractions substantially decreased from 18.0% in 1989 to 0.7% in 1997 and the need for repeat dental general anaesthetics within 18 months was eliminated with the introduction of a pre-general anaesthetic screening service.

Conclusion: Dental treatment under general anaesthesia should continue to be available where it is justified. A separate assessment appointment reduces the prescription of general anaesthesia and minimises its usage for orthodontic extractions and the necessity for repeat general anaesthesia


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Grant, S., Davidson, L. & Livesey, S. Trends in exodontia under general anaesthesia at a dental teaching hospital. Br Dent J 185, 347–352 (1998).

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