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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-39

Determinants of first dental visit in a group of Sudanese children: A dental hospital based study


1 Lecturer, Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Sciences, College of Dentistry, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
2 Associate Professor, Department of Preventive Dentistry, Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
BDS, MSc, MFDRCSI Malaz Mohamed Elrafie Mustafa
Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Sciences, College of Dentistry, King Khalid University, Abha
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Objectives: To assess the characteristics of the first dental visit in terms of age, chief complaint(s), treatment needed and anxiety level in a group of Sudanese children attending Pediatric Dental Clinics at Khartoum Teaching Dental Hospital (KTDH) & University of Khartoum (U of K). Methods: The study is a descriptive, cross-sectional, dental-hospital based study which was conducted in order 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. A representative sample of 215 Children who attended the Pediatric Dental Clinics at Khartoum Teaching Dental Hospital& University of Khartoum 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 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%). Conclusions: Sudanese children are brought very late to the pediatric dental clinics for the first time complaining mainly of caries and pain which necessitates invasive dental procedures (mostly extraction). The behavior rating during examination was found to be mostly Frankl 3.


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