Impact of cancelled General Anaesthetic dental extraction appointments on children due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Nusaybah Elsherif Jonathan Lewney Jeyanthi H. John

Impact of cancelled General Anaesthetic dental extraction appointments on children due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Authors: Nusaybah Elsherif Jonathan Lewney Jeyanthi H. John
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00015Elsherif06

Abstract

Background: COVID-19 has resulted in the cancellation of general anaesthetic procedures including dental extractions (GAX) for children in the UK, exacerbating existing inequalities. There is robust evidence that children from deprived and some ethnic backgrounds are at greater risk of caries and are, therefore, more likely to be affected by cancellations. Aim: To identify the impact of, and possible mitigations for, cancelled general anaesthetic procedures on children in the South East of England. Design: Data were collected from service providers on the number of children who had their appointments cancelled during the first lockdown. Paediatric dentists and clinical leads contributed views on the likely impact of these cancellations on the affected children. Results: 1,456 children had their appointments cancelled in the six weeks between 20th March and 30th June 2020. The key themes identified from providers included lengthening waiting lists, challenges of swab testing and self-isolation and the need to re-orientate dental services to increase prevention. Conclusion: COVID-19 has exacerbated existing health inequalities within our communities. Different parts of the NHS must work together to ensure that all children have access to services to treat and improve oral health. Keywords: Dental Public Health, Oral health inequalities, Prevention, Paediatric extractions

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