A prospective study was conducted, which revealed that receiving treatment under general anesthesia in a single visit had minimal effects compared to multiple visits. It was revealed that a single visit treatment under general anesthesia is more efficacious than several visits.
Dental caries remain a health issue among children. They are associated with a number of risks for children. For example, negative effects on development, behavior and altered speech and smile are seen. Dental caries are erosions of the surface of the tooth, caused by the combined effects of bacteria, acids, plaque and tartar.
General anesthesia is a state produced when a patient receives medications for amnesia, analgesia, muscle paralysis, and sedation
The pathophysiology of dental decay is as follows; Enamel is a highly mineralized cellular tissue. Dental caries act on it through a chemical brought on by the acidic environment, produced by bacteria. As the bacteria come into contact with, and consume sugar, using it for their own energy. This produces lactic acid, thus eroding the enamel. As the enamel loses minerals, dental caries progress until the loss of tooth structure results in a cavity.
A novel study published in Medicine, was conducted to assess how quality of life is affected because of dental treatment under general anesthesia. The study was conducted among 124 pediatric patients. Some of whom received treatment under general anesthesia in a single visit, and the others received treatment over a number of visits. The study also involved children who were supposed to receive treatment but did not end up receiving any. The study revealed that receiving treatment under general anesthesia in a single visit had minimum effects, and was more efficacious compared to receiving treatment over several visits in relation to quality of life.
The study creates awareness for the general public about the treatment of dental caries under general anesthesia. It also reminds people that dental carries are still an on-going problem among children.
The study had several limitations, including lack of randomization, selection bias, a small sample size, and having the participants only assessed at a single point in time.
In conclusion, receiving treatment under general anesthesia in a single visit had minimum effects, and is better compared to receiving treatment over several visits when comparing quality of life.
Written By: Mariam Hamza, BScPh