Abstract: Aims: The aim of this audit was to quantify the number of patients that received a dental general anaesthetic (DGA) between 1999 and 2007 following referral from a general dental practice. It also aimed to establish the deprivation status of those referred and to investigate further dental treatment pathways of these patients. Methods: Data were collected from all patient records held by the practice. The information collected included: postcode, gender, age at the close of the study, age at time of DGA, reason for DGA, number of teeth extracted, and details of further ongoing care. In the absence of individual level socioeconomic data, a deprivation score (derived from the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation [WIMD]) was appended to each record in order to provide a measure of deprivation based on the postcode of the patient. Results: Two hundred and eighty-seven patients were referred for DGA during the nine-year period. Their mean age was 9.4 years (95% confidence interval [CI] = 8.4, 10.4) and 30.7% were children aged five years or younger. The most common reason for DGA was dental caries. The mean number of teeth extracted was 4.5 (95% CI = 4.1, 4.9). Patients living in deprived areas were more likely to be referred for DGA. Of the 87 who did not subsequently attend for continuing care, 72 were from deprived areas compared with 15 from more affluent areas (P=0.003). Conclusions: In proportion to the number of patients registered at a practice, the number of referrals for DGAs was relatively low. Patients categorised as deprived (based on their residential postcode) received more referrals for DGAs than those from more affluent areas. Patients from deprived locations were significantly more likely not to attend for continuing care after their DGA than those from more affluent areas.
- dental general anaesthetic
- general dental practice
- general anaesthetic referral
- dental referrals
- geographical information systems