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Up until the late 1990s, the rates of dental general anaesthesia were above average for the UK in the Northern Region. This was an anomaly and an intervention was mounted to resolve this by the then Regional Health Authority.

This case report comprises:

A paper produced by the Regional Health Authority laying out the problem and suggesting a solution (which was in essence a social marketing solution).

A published journal article detailing the evidence that professional attitudes to dental general anaesthesia were at the heart of the problem, and suggesting that social marketing might help to resolve issues.

A published paper laying out the case for a social marketing approach in this instance.

The conclusion

All the above evidence was submitted to the authorities at the time and, as a result, the regulations were changed to confine dental general anaesthesia to specialist locations, thus reducing the high rates in general dental practice. On the basis of the evidence supplied, the General Dental Council changed the guidance on dental general anaesthesia thereby reducing the rates in the United Kingdom (figure).

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