Access to dental care-parents' and caregivers' views on dental treatment services for people with disabilities.

Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
Special Care in Dentistry 03/2010; 30(2):35-45. DOI: 10.1111/j.1754-4505.2009.00127.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The goal of this study was to elicit the views of patients or parents/caregivers of patients with disabilities regarding access to dental care. A questionnaire was generated both from interviews with patients/parents/caregivers already treated under sedation or general anesthesia as well as by use of the Delphi technique with other stakeholders. One hundred thirteen patients from across six community dental clinics and one dental hospital were included. Approximately, 38% of the subjects used a general dental practitioner and 35% used the community dental service for their dental care, with only 27% using the hospital dental services. Overall waiting time for an appointment at the secondary care setting was longer than for the primary care clinics. There was a high rate of parent/caregiver satisfaction with dental services and only five patients reported any difficulty with travel and access to clinics. This study highlights the need for a greater investment in education and training to improve skills in the primary dental care sector.

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