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Oral Health Research Pediatric Dentistry Restorative Dentistry

How safe is sedation for overweight/obese children?


This summary is based on the article published in the Pediatric Dentistry Journal: The safety of sedation for overweight/obese children in the dental setting (September/October 2012)

Purpose of the Study

Examine childhood overweight/obesity as a risk factor for adverse events during sedation for dental procedures.

Key Messages

  • Overall, weight percentiles were higher in children who had one or more adverse events. Similarly, patients with higher body mass index (BMI) percentiles were more likely to experience adverse events.
  • Although preliminary in nature, these findings suggest that childhood overweight/obesity may be associated with adverse events during sedation for dental procedures.
  • In the interim, practitioners should obtain presedation weight and height and calculate the patient’s body mass index prior to sedation; for children who are overweight/obese, practitioners may want to proceed with additional caution or consider an alternate behavior management strategy.



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1 Comment

  1. JCDA Oasis November 19, 2013

    We have received the following question: What was considered an adverse event?

    In response, here is what the article states as adverse events:

    • Respiratory depression caused by hypoxia/chronic extrinsic restrictive lung disease and OSA
    • Respiratory complications, prolonged sedation, cardiac arrhythmias, brain injuries, and even death
    • Most frequent adverse events include: nausea/vomiting; apnea; desaturation; and prolonged sedation

    If you have other questions, send us an email or post a comment.

    JCDA Oasis Team


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