Determinants of the First Dental Visit in a Group of Sudanese Children

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Malaz Mohamed ELrafie Mustafa Salih
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Background: Over the past several years, much discussion has centered on the age at which a child without identified dental problems should first visit a dentist. Several dental professional organizations have offered a strong rationale for making that first visit by age 1 year Design: The study is a descriptive, cross-sectional, dental-hospital based study. Settings: The Pediatric Dental Clinics at Khartoum Teaching Dental Hospital & University of Khartoum (which are the major public pediatric dental clinics in Khartoum city). Objectives: Are to assess the determinants of the first dental visit in terms of age, chief complaint(s), treatment needed and anxiety level in a group of Sudanese children. Methods: A representative sample of 215 Children who attended the two pediatric dental clinics was targeted. Data were collected prospectively between February to May 2010. A written questionnaire was completed by direct interview of the parents/or caregivers, followed by clinical examination for the chief complaint(s), during which the child’s behavior was rated using the Frankl Behavior Rating Scale(FBRS). Radiographs; periapical vi ii views and DPTs, were taken whenever needed to confirm diagnosis of the chief complaint and to determine the treatment needed accordingly. The various chief complaints were categorized as follows, Orientation and prevention, Dental caries, Deposits / bad breath, Trauma, Pain/ sensitivity, Malocclusion, Missing / extra tooth, Soft tissue lesions, Swelling, Discoloration and Others. When dental caries was the chief complaint, it was further combined with other parameters (pain and/or swelling) to clarify its extent as follows; ‘dental caries (without pain or swelling), ‘dental caries with pain’, ‘dental caries with swelling’ and ‘dental caries with pain and swelling’. Results: the median age for the first visit was found to be 7.08 years. Most common chief complaint for the visit was dental caries (74.42 %), of which dental caries and pain constituted the majority (44.65 %). Most of the children expressed Frankl level 3 (positive) during the clinical examination (57.21%). Extraction was found to be the treatment needed for almost half of the children at their first dental visit (46.98%). Conclusion: Sudanese children are brought very late to the pediatric dental clinics for the first time complaining mainly of vii iii caries and pain which necessitates invasive dental procedures (mostly extraction). The behavior rating during examination was found to be mostly Frankl 3.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment for the requirements of the Degree of M.Sc.(Sudan)in Pediatric Dentistry
Dental Visit Children Sudan Pediatric Dentistry University of Khartoum
Malaz Mohamed ELrafie Mustafa Salih, Determinants of the First Dental Visit in a Group of Sudanese Children. – Khartoum : University of Khartoum, 2011. - 103 P. : illus., 28 cm., M.Sc.