Dental surgery under general anesthesia for preschool patients with orofacial clefts

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Preschool children with orofacial clefts are prone to develop early childhood caries (ECC).Management of ECCoften necessitates the use of general anesthesia, yet little information is published about this treatment approach in cleft patients. The purpose of this article was to describe the hospital care of 12 patients with orofacial clefts (mean age=44 months; range=22-62 months) and ECC treated in 15 total dental surgeries under general anesthesia. The mean surgical time was 85 minutes (range=35-134 minutes). Severe ECC was diagnosed in all cases, with 83 percent of patients having 10 or more carious teeth. Preformed metal crowns and extractions were performed on 30 percent and 15 percent of all primary teeth, respectively. This case series found the clinical presentation of ECC in patients with orofacial clefts to be comparable to the noncleft population. Treatment of ECC is feasible through dental surgery under general anesthesia with appropriate perioperative planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-431
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Dentistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009


  • Cleft palate
  • Crown
  • Dental caries
  • General anesthesia
  • Intubation


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