The assessment of two oral sedation drug regimens in pediatric dental patients.

Academic Article


  • Oral sedation remains a common method for managing uncooperative and/or extremely fearful pediatric patients requiring dental treatment. The purpose of this retrospective review is to report on the adverse reactions associated with the use of two oral sedation drug regimens commonly employed in pediatric dental patients. Of a combined total of 73 different patient records, 112 sedation cases from the pediatric dental program at the University of Alabama School of Dentistry were reviewed for this report. The two drug regimens were (1) chloral hydrate/promethazine and (2) meperidine/promethazine. Documentation was taken from the sedation cases, which included the following: (1) age, (2) weight, (3) the drug regimen and dosages, (4) the use of nitrous oxide, (5) the effectiveness rating of each sedation, and (6) adverse reactions. The adverse reactions included emesis and oxygen desaturation (hypoxemia) the latter being determined by the use of a pulse oximeter. The results of the study revealed that approximately 48 percent of the sedation cases with pulse oximetry recordings experienced mild to moderate hypoxemia, and in 6.2 percent of the cases, emesis occurred. The review and statistical analysis of the sedation ratings using the nonparametric analog of the t-test indicated no significant difference of effectiveness between the two drug regimens. This study shows that oxygen desaturation occurs frequently in pediatric dental patients being treated with conscious oral sedation techniques and that the prevalence of adverse reactions was similar for the drug regimens evaluated.
  • Authors

    Author List

  • Sams DR; Thornton JB; Wright JT
  • Start Page

  • 306
  • End Page

  • 312
  • Volume

  • 59
  • Issue

  • 4