Paediatric dental emergencies: a retrospective study and a proposal for definition and guidelines including pain management
This was primarily to perform a retrospective analysis of 1000 emergency dental visits in order to characterize the nature of the dental emergency and the treatment provided and secondly to define a guideline for dental emergency treatment in children including pain management.
Materials and methods
A retrospective review was conducted of 1000 patients (aged 0–16 years) who visited the dental emergency service of the paediatric dental clinic at the Ghent University Hospital, Belgium over a period of 3 years. Data regarding age, gender, reason for visit, year of visit, consequent appointments and treatment provided were collected. Statistical analysis was carried out using descriptive statistics (frequency distribution) and Chi-square test, with significance level set as P < 0.05.
The number of patients visiting with a dental emergency increased annually. Approximately half (50.2%) of all paediatric dental emergency consultations were based on pain due to caries and its consequences. More than a quartile (26.7%) of emergency patients suffered from dental trauma of either primar or permanent teeth. The majority (96.7%) of the patients reported pain, 16.3% of the patients did not necessarily need immediate attention.
Dental emergencies in a university hospital based setting were predominantly related to caries and trauma. A precise definition of dental emergencies is recommended in order to prevent abuse of paediatric emergency services.
KeywordsEmergency Children Pain management
The authors would like to thank Ms. Joni Mattelaer for her help in obtaining and extracting patient data from hard copy files.
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in the present study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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