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Is treatment under general anaesthesia associated with dental neglect and dental disability among caries active preschool children?



To study if treatment under general anaesthesia (GA) is associated with dental neglect or dental disability.

Study design

This was a retrospective study.


Dental records of all children in the age 0–6 years who underwent GA at a specialist paediatric dentistry clinic during 2006–2011 were studied with regard to decayed–missed–filled teeth, traumatic injuries, emergency visits, behaviour management problems and the history of attendance. The final sample consisted of 134 children. Matched controls were selected among recall patients who had not received treatment under GA.


Fishers exact test or Pearson Chi-square test analysed response distribution and comparisons between groups, and for multivariate analyses, logistic regression was used.


The results show that children treated under GA had significantly higher caries prevalence, apical periodontitis and infections due to pulpal necrosis. Dental neglect as well as dental disability was significantly more prevalent in the GA group compared to the control group. In a multivariate analysis with dental neglect as independent factor, dental disability was the only significant factor (p = 0.006).


Children treated under general anaesthesia were significantly more often diagnosed with both dental neglect and dental disability. Dental disability was the only factor significantly related to dental neglect. There is a need for improved documentation in the dental records to better identify dental neglect and dental disability, and also a continued training of dentists regarding child protection.

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Correspondence to T. Kvist.

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Kvist, T., Zedrén-Sunemo, J., Graca, E. et al. Is treatment under general anaesthesia associated with dental neglect and dental disability among caries active preschool children?. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 15, 327–332 (2014).

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  • Dental caries
  • Anaesthesia general
  • Child abuse
  • Paediatric dentistry