Propofol is the best anaesthetic drug for dental patients with severe anxiety about surgery, a new study has shown.
The study compared propofol and sevoflurane in 20 patients who had severe anxiety about dental surgery and found 80% of patients preferred propofol.
The study anaesthetised patients during two different appointments and during surgery they were given opioids or nitrous oxide to mask the effects of the primary painkilling drugs on the patients.
There were no recorded differences between the drugs in terms of recovery, all patients were discharged at similar times with both drugs, there were no complications with either drug 24 hours after surgery, all patients were able to eat meals and drink fluids at similar times and no patient reported nausea or vomiting after leaving.
Patients reported more discomfort and fatigue after taking sevoflurane, with some also saying they disliked the smell.
Despite the propofol injection being more painful for patients in the test, there was a clear preference for the drug.
The study concluded propofol is the anaesthetic of choice for dental patients with severe anxiety about surgery.
It suggested that when patient satisfaction is the highest priority, dentists may want to give propofol during in-office surgery.
The full text for the article ‘Recovery profile and patient satisfaction after ambulatory anaesthesia for dental treatment – a crossover comparison between propofol and sevolurane’ can be found here www.anesthesiaprogress.org/doi/full/10.2344/15-00012.1.