March 2009

Volume 26, Issue 1

Previous radiographic experience of children referred for dental extractions under general anaesthesia in the UK.

Authors: N.L. Young H.D. Rodd S.A. Craig
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2232Rodd03

Abstract

Objective To determine what proportion of children undergo radiographic assessment prior to referral to a dental hospital for extractions under general anaesthesia. Basic research design This prospective survey was conducted over a 6-month period. A data sheet was used to record the following information: patient’s age; referrer’s name and place of work (general dental practice or community dental service); teeth to be extracted (primary dentition and/or permanent dentition) and reported previous radiographic examination. Patients were excluded from the study if, following a clinical examination, radiographs were not actually deemed necessary for diagnosis and treatment planning purposes. Clinical setting A paediatric dentistry clinic within a dental hospital in the North of England. Participants 161 patients with a mean age of six years (SD= 2.2, range=3-14 years) who were referred to the dental hospital for extractions under general anaesthesia. Results Overall, 12.4% of children had reportedly undergone a previous radiographic assessment prior to hospital referral. A significantly greater proportion of children referred for permanent tooth extractions had been subject to radiographic examination compared to children referred for primary tooth extractions (46.2% as compared to 6.3%; P=0.001 chi-squared test). Furthermore, patients referred from the community dental service were significantly more likely to have had previous dental radiographs than children referred from general dental practice (36.9% compared to 9.3%; P=0.003 chi-squared test). Conclusions Radiographs do not appear to be routinely employed for caries diagnosis and treatment planning in young children within general dental practice in the UK. Key words: Caries, children, general anaesthesia, radiographs

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