Does Including Dexmedetomidine Improve Outcomes After Intravenous Sedation for Outpatient Dentoalveolar Surgery?

D. Craig Taylor, Henry W. Ferguson, Mark Stevens, Solon Kao, Frances M. Yang, Stephen Looney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Dexmedetomidine represents an intriguing adjunct to outpatient intravenous (IV) sedation owing to its decreased risk of respiratory depression. The purpose of the present study was to measure the incremental effect of incorporating dexmedetomidine (DXM) into an established IV sedation regimen compared with control IV sedation without the DXM infusion. Materials and Methods: We designed a prospective, controlled trial in which American Society of Anesthesiologists Class 1 and 2 patients requiring both maxillary and mandibular dentoalveolar surgery would undergo 2 sedation appointments: 1 arch treated with surgery with control sedation (DXM−) using midazolam, fentanyl, and propofol as needed, and a second surgery on the opposite arch using the experimental sedation regimen (DXM+) of midazolam, fentanyl, and propofol, as needed, and a DXM infusion at 4 μg/kg/hr. The surgeon was the same for every appointment, and the patients were kept unaware regarding which sedation had included the experimental regimen. Whether the experimental sedation was used at the first or second surgery was randomized. The primary measured outcomes were efficiency in terms of anesthesia time for each sedation, the physiologic response in terms of vital signs, and the subjective patient experience. Results: A total of 12 patients completed the trial. With DXM−, the patients had significantly shorter total (∼15 minutes) and adjusted anesthesia (∼10 minutes) times. With DXM+, the patients had significantly lower average systolic blood pressure (SBP), SBP low values, diastolic blood pressure (DBP) low values, average heart rate (HR), and HR low values. None of the other continuous patient outcomes differed significantly between the 2 groups. Of the 12 patients, 10 (83.3%) reported that they preferred the experimental sedation experience with DXM (95% confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.98). Conclusions: Using a DXM infusion with outpatient dentoalveolar surgery allowed for acceptable levels of sedation, greater patient satisfaction, and longer anesthesia and appointment times and often resulted in lower BP and heart rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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