OBJECTIVES: To confirm clinical observations and to investigate the characteristics (demography, dental anxiety status, dental health status, treatment experiences and dental health behaviours) of children attending for dental general anaesthesia (DGA). DESIGN: A case series design was used in which each consecutive parent and child, referred for DGA, were invited to take part. METHOD: Identical protocols for the selection of the sample, administration of the questionnaire and clinical examination were used to ensure comparability. To account for seasonal variation the data were collected during and between the months of January and May in both 1993 and 1997. Two hundred children and their parents were selected in 1993 and 200 in 1997. The parent completed a questionnaire. It enquired of the parent and child demography, parental dental anxiety status, and the child's treatment experiences. Children were asked to complete the Children's Fear Survey Schedule (CFSS) to assess their dental anxiety. The child's caries experience was assessed using the guidelines to standardise the collection of epidemiological data throughout the UK. RESULTS: Children studied in 1997 compared with 1993 were younger, had more decayed but fewer filled teeth, were more dentally anxious, more likely to present in pain and came from families who were in receipt of Government benefits. A linear regression analysis showed that the children with previous experience of DGA had higher levels of dental caries, fewer filled teeth, were older and attended in 1997. An individual regression for 1993 showed that an additional predictor was child attendance pattern. CONCLUSIONS: These findings confirmed the clinical observations and suggested that children who attend in pain and present for repeated DGA represent a group of children with special dental healthcare needs. There is a need for an integrated dental healthcare service to identify such children and provide appropriate dental care facilities for them.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Primary dental care : journal of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (UK)|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2000|