September 2023

Volume 40, Issue 3

The impact of restricted access on the need and demand for specialist dental services – A consideration for future needs assessments

Authors: Ross Keat Iain Pretty
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00122Keat07


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic forced NHS Dental Services to adapt quickly and implement measures which would safeguard essential care provision, whilst mitigating COVID-19 transmission risks. However, these changes impacted on both dental access, and onward referrals for specialist care. Basic Research Design: A longitudinal study design is used to offer descriptive analysis of referrals sent across three referral groups (orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, suspected cancers) across three time-matched periods (1st July to 31st December in 2019, 2020 and 2021). Anonymised data, extracted from an electronic referral management system (eRMS), are considered. Number of referrals, reasons for referral, Indices of Multiple Deprivation for each referral are discussed. Results: Referrals reduced from 2019 to 2020. Proportionally, the greatest reduction in onward referral was observed amongst individuals from the lowest socioeconomic positions, across all groups. Although mandated to conduct only 62.5% of the 2019 activity, the 2021 referrals exceeded 2019 figures. Proportions referred from the lowest socioeconomic position were still slightly lower across all three groups. Conclusions: Referrals from the lowest socioeconomic groups decreased in 2020, followed by a rebound in 2021, despite a reduction in mandated clinical activity. There are potential implications for future oral health needs assessments that should be considered when developing interventions to enhance access for vulnerable populations as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Keywords: Dental, Public Health Dentistry, Healthcare Public Health, Referral Management, Specialties, Access

£10 single article

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CDH Board September 2023 131-131 Download
Editorial: Clinical Education Research and Dental Public Health 132-133 Download
Socioeconomic inequalities in dental visits among high school students in Chile, years 2013 and 2017 134-138 £10 single article
The impact of restricted access on the need and demand for specialist dental services – A consideration for future needs assessments 139-145 £10 single article
Social determinants of health for moderate and severe periodontal disease in rural and urban populations 146-153 £10 single article
The Dental Health of Looked After Children in the UK and Dental Care Pathways: A Scoping Review 154-161 Download
Oral health profile of Australian children from different immigrant backgrounds 162-169 £10 single article
Sociodemographic disparities in oral health-related quality of life of schoolchildren in rural and urban areas 170-175 £10 single article
Long-term Effectiveness of Integrated Caries Preventive Programs in Thailand Among Preschool Children Using a System Dynamics Model 176-181 Download
Adults’ estimated prevalence of healthy behavior in society and self-reported oral health status and behaviors 182-186 £10 single article
Application of the Life Grid in Oral Health Research: A Scoping Review 187-194 £10 single article


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