Children who break dental appointments
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AIM: This was to assess factors associated with children’s non-compliance with regular dental appointments. The study used demographics, oral health behaviour, oral health and use of dental services for children with a recent history of broken appointments and compared them with children who kept recall appointments. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Children (n=576) recalled for routine examination in the public dental services were studied. Information regarding failed dental appointments during the previous 2 years was collected from each child’s record. At examination, past history, clinical and radiographic information was recorded. STATISTICS: The data were analysed using multiple logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: During the previous 2 years 15% of the children had broken at least one appointment. No significant differences were found between children with and without failed appointments regarding demographic variables (age, gender, immigrant status and medical condition) or dental health behaviours. Compared with other children, those with a history of broken appointments had more enamel disturbances, higher caries experience and higher caries activity (more new caries at the examination), and more time was needed to complete their dental treatment. They were given shorter recall intervals to the next dental examination. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that children who break appointments are caries risk patients and need special attention.
Keywordscaries risk children dental attendance missing appointments no shows recall intervals
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