BACKGROUND A small proportion of children and adolescents need dental treatment with general anaesthesia (DGA). The aim of this retrospective cross-sectional study was to analyse how country of origin and medical status were related to age at treatment, waiting times in the system, and dental treatment provided in general anaesthesia. METHODS A total of 786 patients received DGA at the University Hospital of Aarhus, Denmark in the period from 1990 to 2001. Information on the date of referral, the date of examination, the date of treatment, country of origin (Danish or non-Danish), medical status (non-special needs or special needs), and dental treatment performed was collected from patient records. RESULTS Patients with special needs were older when treated than non-special needs patients, whereas patients with a non-Danish origin were younger than those with a Danish origin when treated. There were no differences between non-special needs and special needs patients in waiting times from referral to examination and from examination to dental treatment. In contrast, patients from a non-Danish origin waited longer from examination to treatment than patients of Danish origin, whereas no difference was found in waiting time from referral to examination. Patients with special needs had fewer teeth treated than non-special needs patients, whereas patients with non-Danish origin had more teeth treated than those of a Danish origin. CONCLUSION Age at treatment, waiting times in the system, and dental treatment received under general anaesthesia vary according to medical status and country of origin of the patients in Denmark. These findings should be considered in the organization and the funding of this type of service.