Oral health needs and barriers to dental care in hospitalized children
Article first published online: 12 MAR 2008
Special Care in Dentistry
Volume 27, Issue 5, pages 206–211, September 2007
How to Cite
Nicopoulos, M., Brennan, M. T., Kent, M. L., Brickhouse, T. H., Rogers, M. K., Fox, P. C. and Lockhart, P. B. (2007), Oral health needs and barriers to dental care in hospitalized children. Special Care in Dentistry, 27: 206–211. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-4505.2007.tb00348.x
- Issue published online: 12 MAR 2008
- Article first published online: 12 MAR 2008
- pediatric dentistry;
- mouth diseases;
- tooth diseases;
- health services accessibility
The goal of this study was to examine the oral health status and utilization of dental care reported by hospitalized children.
A bedside oral examination was performed on hospitalized children. Past dental treatment and current oral health needs were assessed. The mean age (± SD) of 120 enrolled patients was 6.7 (± 2.9) years (range 3 to 12); 60% were males. The age of the patients' first dental office visit was 3.5 t 1.8 years, with 28% having never seen a dentist. Unmet oral health needs (e.g., untreated dental caries) were noted in 42% of children, and soft tissue (mucosal) abnormalities in 59% of children. Children with chronic medical conditions reported barriers to receiving dental care more often (24%) than children with acute medical conditions (3.5%) (p=0.04).
A high prevalance of unmet oral health needs and soft tissue abnormalities was identified in a hospitalized pediatric population. Children with chronic medical conditions were more likely to experience barriers to obtaining dental care.