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Anesth Prog. 2005 Spring;52(1):3-11.

Need and demand for sedation or general anesthesia in dentistry: a national survey of the Canadian population.

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1
Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the need and demand for sedation or general anesthesia (GA) for dentistry in the Canadian adult population. A national telephone survey of 1101 Canadians found that 9.8% were somewhat afraid of dental treatment, with another 5.5% having a high level of fear. Fear or anxiety was the reason why 7.6% had ever missed, cancelled, or avoided a dental appointment. Of those with high fear, 49.2% had avoided a dental appointment at some point because of fear or anxiety as opposed to only 5.2% from the no or low fear group. Regarding demand, 12.4% were definitely interested in sedation or GA for their dentistry and 42.3% were interested depending on cost. Of those with high fear, 31.1% were definitely interested, with 54.1% interested depending on cost. In a hypothetical situation where endodontics was required because of a severe toothache, 12.7% reported high fear. This decreased to 5.4% if sedation or GA were available. For this procedure, 20.4% were definitely interested in sedation or GA, and another 46.1% were interested depending on cost. The prevalence of, and preference for, sedation or GA was assessed for specific dental procedures. The proportion of the population with a preference for sedation or GA was 7.2% for cleaning, 18% for fillings or crowns, 54.7% for endodontics, 68.2% for periodontal surgery, and 46.5% for extraction. For each procedure, the proportion expressing a preference for sedation or GA was significantly greater than the proportion having received treatment with sedation or GA (P < 0.001). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that there is significant need and demand for sedation and GA in the Canadian adult population.

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