Why are children still having preventable extractions under general anaesthetic? A service evaluation of the views of parents of a high caries risk group of children

R C Olley, M T Hosey, Tara Renton, J Gallagher

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Despite overall improvements in oral health, the number of children admitted to hospital for extraction of teeth due to caries under general anaesthesia (GA) has been reported as increasing dramatically in England. The new UK government plans to transform NHS dentistry by improving oral health.Aim To evaluate the dental care received by children who required caries-related extractions under GA and obtain the views of their parents or guardians on their experiences of oral health services and the support they would like to improve their child's oral health, to inform future planning.Method An interview questionnaire was designed and piloted to collect data from a consecutive sample of 100 parents or guardians during their child's pre-operative assessment appointment. This took place at one London dental hospital between November 2009 and February 2010.Results Most children were either white (43%) or black British (41%); the average age was seven years (range 2-15, SD 3.1, SE 0.31) and the female:male ratio was 6:5. Most (84%) had experienced dental pain and 66% were referred by a general dental practitioner (GDP). A large proportion of parents or guardians (47%) reported previous dental treatment under GA in their children or child's sibling/s. Challenges discussed by parents in supporting their child's oral health included parenting skills, child behaviour, peer pressure, insufficient time, the dental system and no plans for continuing care for their child. Three out of four parents (74%) reported that they would like support for their child's oral health. Sixty percent of all parents supported school/nursery programmes and 55% supported an oral health programme during their pre-assessment clinic.Discussion These findings suggest that the oral health support received by high caries risk children is low. Health promotion programmes tailored to this cohort are necessary and our findings suggest that they would be welcomed by parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E13
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2011


  • Adolescent
  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Age Factors
  • Anesthesia, Dental
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Dental Care for Children
  • Dental Caries
  • Dental Caries Susceptibility
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • London
  • Male
  • Oral Health
  • Parenting
  • Parents
  • Peer Group
  • School Dentistry
  • State Dentistry
  • Time Factors
  • Tooth Extraction
  • Journal Article


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