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A survey of the opinions of consultant anaesthetists in Scotland of sedation carried out by dentists

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Katherine Wilson, Professor Nick Girdler


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Objectives: To elicit the attitudes and opinions of consultant anaesthetists working in Scotland, with regard to conscious sedation carried out by dental practitioners. Method: A questionnaire was designed to gauge opinion of consultant anaesthetists in Scotland on the practice of conscious sedation by dentists. The questionnaire was sent to 353 consultant anaesthetists working in 49 hospitals within the 15 health boards in Scotland. Results: Of the 366 questionnaires sent, 249 were returned of which 235 were valid. This gave a response rate of 64%. In general, those questioned felt that the provision of sedation in a hospital setting was more appropriate than in general dental practice. A majority (65%) thought that it was unrealistic for anaesthetists to provide all sedation for dental treatment, although many (58%) felt that anaesthetists should take more responsibility in this area. Again, a majority (60%) agreed that dentists should be trained to use sedation techniques for their patients but a significant number (63%) disagreed with the practice of operator/sedationist. Conclusion: It is of concern to the dental profession that a significant number of anaesthetists do not feel that it is appropriate for dentists to be administering even the most simple methods of sedation. At present there are no clear, recognised guidelines as to the level of formal training required for the practice of conscious sedation by dentists. It is in the interests of the dental profession and the public to ensure that those choosing to practice sedation do so safely by following recognised guidelines in the training and practice of sedation. © British Dental Journal 2004.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shearer J, Wilson KE, Girdler NM

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 2004

Volume: 196

Issue: 2

Pages: 93-98

Print publication date: 24/01/2004

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5373


DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4810901

PubMed id: 14739967