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Post-operative pain and morbidity in children who have tooth extractions under general anaesthesia: a service evaluation

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Areej Aliohali, Nourah Al-Rubaian, Chrysoula Tatsi, Sanjeev Sood, Marie-Therese Hosey

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713–718
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number8
Early online date25 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

King's Authors


Introduction Children find dental extractions under general anaesthesia (GA) painful despite national analgesic guidelines. Aims To report on children's post-operative pain, morbidity, families' satisfaction and analgesic regime during GA dental extractions. Design A prospective service evaluation. Setting King's College Hospital, London. Methods Children (n = 143) self-reported pain using the Faces Pain Scale-Revised (FPS-R) pre- and post-operatively and one week later by telephone as reported by the child's parent/carer. Morbidity was assessed using the Morbidity Checklist & Post Hospital Behaviour Questionnaire and each family's satisfaction using the Treatment Evaluation Inventory. Results Children were a mean age of six years and had seven primary teeth extracted. When given intravenous (IV) fentanyl (n = 69), either alone (n = 11) or in combination with paracetamol (n = 58) the children had 0.17 times odds of not having post-op pain compared to patients who received only paracetamol (logistic regression, p = 0.006). After one week 99% of families were satisfied with the service but 11% reported that their child still had post-operative morbidity. Conclusion Three quarters of children reported pain following extractions of primary teeth under GA. Use of IV paracetamol and fentanyl reduced the immediate post-operative self-reported pain. After a week most families (99%) were satisfied with the treatment their child had received and morbidity was reported by 11% of families.

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