J Dent Anesth Pain Med.  2021 Apr;21(2):99-111. 10.17245/jdapm.2021.21.2.99.

Analysis of application of dental sedation in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients using the Korean National Health Insurance data

  • 1Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Dankook University Sejong Dental Hospital, Sejong, Korea
  • 2Department of Dental Anesthesiology, School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. It has a worldwide pooled prevalence of 5.29%. The characteristics of ADHD can increase the probability of dental treatment, while special behavior management can be required to allow proper treatment. In South Korea, the use of sedation in dental treatment has rapidly increased in recent decades. The present study aimed to investigate the trend and effects of sedation in patients with ADHD undergoing dental treatment in South Korea.
The study used customized health information data provided by the Korean National Health Insurance Service. Among patients with the record of sedative use during the period from January 2007 to September 2019, those with International Classification of Diseases-10 codes for ADHD (F90, F91) were selected; the data of their overall insurance claims for dental treatment were then analyzed. The patients’ age, gender, sedative use, and dental treatment were analyzed per year. The annual number of general anesthesia or sedation cases was also analyzed, and changes in the method of behavior management with increasing age were examined.
The study involved 7,654 patients with ADHD (6,270 males; 1,384 females). The total number of dental treatments was 137,778, while the number of sedation cases was 16,109, among which 13,052 involved male patients and 3,057 female patients. The number of general anesthesia cases was 631, among which 538 involved male patients and 93 female patients. The most frequently used sedation method in the dental treatment of patients with ADHD was N2 O inhalation. The percentage of sedation cases was highest in patients aged 4 years, and it decreased with increasing age.
In South Korea, both sedation and dental treatments were slightly more common in patients with ADHD than in the general population. With increasing age, the frequency of dental treatments and the percentage of sedation cases decreased.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; National Health Insurance; Sedation.
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