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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 299-303

Referral pattern and treatment needs of patients managed at a Malaysian special care dentistry clinic

Centre of Comprehensive Care Studies, Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Sungai Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Mas S Ahmad
Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Sungai Buloh Campus, Sungai Buloh, Selangor.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jioh.jioh_84_19

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Aims and Objectives: This study was undertaken to investigate the referral patterns and treatment needs of patients managed by the special care dentistry (SCD) clinic specialists at a Malaysian teaching dental hospital, in preparation for improved oral health services for this patient population. Materials and Methods: The dental records of patients who attended the SCD clinic between January and December 2017, were reviewed for information, including sociodemographic characteristics, sources and reasons for referral, dental treatment needs, and medical profile. Quantitative data were analyzed via the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version (chi-squared test, P < 0.01). Results: A total of 182 patients were managed in 2017, consisting mostly of Malays (89.6%) and with a majority being males (63.2%) in the 0–20 years age group (69.8%). A slight prevalence of adolescent/adult patients (52.2%) was reported as compared with that of pediatric patients (47.8%), with no significant difference between the genders. Many of the patients were encountered within the mobile dental service program (53.8%) and mostly first presented for routine checkups (66.5%). Treatment needs included periodontal therapy (76.9%), restoration (47.3%), exodontia (28.0%), and dentures (12.1%). The patient study sample additionally boasted physical impairments (58.8%), complex medical conditions (32.4%), psychiatric disorders (8.8%), and intellectual disabilities (8.2%). Systemic health issues included cardiovascular (18.7%), respiratory (9.9%), and endocrine (7.7%) disorders. Significant differences in the numbers of patients with physical disabilities and complex medical conditions were observed across age groups. Conclusion: This study provides important information for the future development of SCD services at the institutional and national levels.

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