Intravenous sedation for dental patients with intellectual disability

Takuya Miyawaki, A. Kohjitani, Shigeru Maeda, M. Egusa, T. Mori, H. Higuchi, F. Kita, M. Shimada

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The poor quality of oral health care for people with intellectual disability (ID) has been recognized, and the strong fears about dental treatment suggested as a major reason for disturbances of visits to dentists by such patients. Intravenous sedation is a useful method for relieving the anxiety and fear of such patients about dental treatment, and is frequently essential for ID patients undergoing dental treatment. However, decision regarding the dose of sedative required to be administered for an adequate level of sedation is difficult because the effect of sedation cannot be adequately assessed in patients with severe ID. As an appropriate sedative dose for dental patients with ID has not been fully established, we investigated sedative doses required and the effect of sedation in patients with ID, compared with other dental patients. Methods. We reviewed the anaesthetic records of dental patients with ID (73 cases) and other dental patients (19 cases) aged between 20 and 29 years who had undergone intravenous sedation with midazolam and propofol in Okayama University Dental Hospital, from January 2000 to December 2000. Intravenous sedation was induced with a bolus intravenous administration of midazolam (2-3 mg) and maintained with a continuous infusion of propofol. The dose of propofol was titrated to achieve an adequate level of sedation: asleep but responding to painful stimulation. The efficacy of sedation, the required doses of propofol, and the wake-up times were investigated for all subjects. The efficacy of sedation was evaluated by judging whether the patient became cooperative and allowed the dental treatment to be carried out or not. The complications induced by intravenous sedation were also evaluated in each subject. Differences in variables between subjects with ID and other subjects were analysed using the Mann-Whitney U-test. Results. Intravenous sedation was effective for dental treatment in all subjects with or without ID. The required dose of propofol in subjects with ID was 4.74 mg/kg/h (2.63-10.33 mg/kg/h), significantly higher than that required for other subjects (3.31, 1.72-4.80 mg/kg/h). Wake-up times of subjects with ID were similar to those of the other subjects. Severe complications were not seen during or after intravenous sedation. Conclusion. The results of this study show that intravenous sedation is a useful method for dental patients with ID as well as for other dental patients, but indicate that dental patients with ID need higher doses of sedative to obtain an adequate level of sedation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)764-768
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


  • Dental anaesthesia
  • Dental care
  • Dental fear
  • Intellectual disability
  • Oral health
  • Sedation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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