Article: Volume 38 Number 7 Page 486 - September 2011

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  Dent Update 2011; 38: 486-492

Special care:  Sickle Cell Disease, Dentistry and Conscious Sedation

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Abstract: The features of sickle cell disease (SCD) are described. Two case reports of patients treated in a Dental Institute are presented and the dental management of patients with SCD discussed. Since infection is one of the major risk factors for sickle cell crisis, the prevention of oral disease and infection is vital for this group of patients and there is no contra-indication to the delivery of dental treatment under local anaesthetic with inhalational sedation if required in the primary care setting. Since patients with sickle cell disease are particularly vulnerable to the effects of periods of hypoxia, which may produce significant morbidity, and because of the additional practical challenges in sedating this group of patients, intravenous sedation should be undertaken in a specialist unit.

Author notes: Catherine Bryant, BDS, MSc, FDS RCS, DipDSed, Consultant in Oral Surgery, Department of Oral Surgery, King’s College Dental Hospital, London SE5 9RS and Carole Boyle, BDS, MMedSci, FDS RCS, MFGDP, MSND RCSEd, Consultant in Special Care Dentistry, Department of Sedation and Special Care Dentistry, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation NHS Trust, Guy’s Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK.

Objective: To understand the causes, manifestations and dental implications of sickle cell disease and provide a treatment plan for patients with this condition.