OBJECTIVES: The study aimed to describe the demographic
profile of children receiving dental general anaesthesia (DGA)
at the Pretoria Oral-and-Dental Hospital, South Africa,the
type of treatment received and the level of compliance with
the six-month preventive follow-up visit.
METHODS: Retrospective review of records of children treated
under DGA between January 2009 and December 2010.
RESULTS: The study group contained 78-children. Of these,
79.5% were between one and four years of age (mean
3.7-years; SD: 2.01), and 54% were female. The parents of
more than half the sample (56.4%) were unemployed. The
majority (55.2%) recorded no medical condition prior to undergoing
DGA. Of the treatments performed, 63% were extractions
(mean = 4.7 teeth/child), 51% involved placement
of composite restorations (mean = 3.4 teeth) and 18% were
fitting of stainless steel crowns (mean = 2.1 teeth). No preventive
treatment was performed under DGA. Only 14 children
(18%) returned within 15-months for follow-ups. Seven
returnees were re-booked for a second DGA appointment
for severely carious teeth; the rest received preventive treatment.
Female children (Odds Ratio (OR): 0.28; p = 0.04)
and children with no medical-condition (OR: 0.20; p = 0.03)
were less likely to return for a follow-up visit. Children with
employed parents were more likely (OR: 3.50; p = 0.09) to
return for follow-ups. CONCLUSION: This study highlights the importance of preventive
treatment prior to and during DGA, especially in a setting
where the caries disease burden and unemployment are high.