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Anesth Prog. 2017 Winter;64(4):212-220. doi: 10.2344/anpr-65-01-04.

Comparison of Anesthesia for Dental/Oral Surgery by Office-based Dentist Anesthesiologists versus Operating Room-based Physician Anesthesiologists.

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Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Oral Pathology, Medicine and Radiology, Indiana University School of Dentistry, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Associate Professor of Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry, Indiana University School of Dentistry, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Fellow in Regional Anesthesia, Department of Anesthesiology, University of California, San Diego.
Starkey Research Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Indiana University School of Dentistry, and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana.


Few studies have examined the practice characteristics of dentist anesthesiologists and compared them to other anesthesia providers. Using outcomes from the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry and the Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry for dental/oral surgery procedures, we compared 7133 predominantly office-based anesthetics by dentist anesthesiologists to 106,420 predominantly operating room anesthetics performed by physician anesthesia providers. These encounters were contrasted with 34,191 previously published encounters from the practices of oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Children younger than 6 years received the greatest proportion of general anesthetic services rendered by both dentist anesthesiologists and hospital-based anesthesia providers. These general anesthesia services were primarily provided for complete dental rehabilitation for early childhood caries. Overall treatment time for complete dental rehabilitation in the office-based setting by dentist anesthesiologists was significantly shorter than comparable care provided in the hospital operating room and surgery centers. The anesthesia care provided by dentist anesthesiologists was found to be separate and distinct from anesthesia care provided by oral and maxillofacial surgeons, which was primarily administered to adults for very brief surgical procedures. Cases performed by dentist anesthesiologists and hospital-based anesthesia providers were for much younger patients and of significantly longer duration when compared with anesthesia administered by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Despite the limited descriptive power of the current registries, office-based anesthesia rendered by dentist anesthesiologists is clearly a unique and efficient mode of anesthesia care for dentistry.


Dental rehabilitation; Dentist anesthesiologist; ECC; Early childhood caries; NACOR; National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry; OBA; Office-based anesthesia; Operating room; SAMBA Clinical Outcomes Registry; SCOR

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