Dental sedation by dentists: a view from anesthesiologists working in central Western Brazil

Paulo S S Costa, Wilson J Valadao, Luciane R R S Costa
Anesthesia and Analgesia 2010 January 1, 110 (1): 110-4

BACKGROUND: Anesthesia care has been provided by diverse health professionals worldwide, but little is known about anesthesiologists' views about this. Using a survey, we sought the opinions of a group of Brazilian anesthesiologists regarding nitrous oxide/oxygen and oral minimal/moderate sedation performed by dentists.

METHODS: A 3-part postal questionnaire was sent to 206 physician anesthesiologists working in the state of Goias, in Central Western Brazil. Part 1 consisted of 4 questions describing respondents' characteristics: gender, time elapsed since completion of the residency program, and experience in providing sedation and general anesthesia for dental treatment. In Part 2, respondents were asked to give their opinions on 11 statements about sedation performed by dentists. Possible responses ranged from total disagreement to total agreement (minimum score = 11 and maximum score = 55). Part 3 was a section for general comments. Data were analyzed by k-means clusters, chi(2), and Student's t-test.

RESULTS: The response rate was 53.8% (111 questionnaires). Most anesthesiologists (85.6%) had rarely or never provided sedation or general anesthesia for dental treatment, and 92.8% disagreed with the statement that dentists can administer moderate sedation in the dental office. Two clusters representing more favorable (n = 21) or less favorable (n = 90) opinions were established. Anesthesiologists in the "less favorable" group had more experience with dental sedation (P = 0.006) and dental general anesthesia (P = 0.008) than those in the "more favorable" group. Gender and time elapsed since residency completion did not significantly affect anesthesiologists' opinions.

CONCLUSIONS: Many anesthesiologists in Central Western Brazil do not sedate dental patients and are not confident that dentists are able to do it. Dental sedation is an issue that still needs to be clarified in this region; the respective roles of physicians and dentists need to be determined to benefit the population.


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