Management of after-hours pediatric dental emergencies among pediatric and general dentists
© American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. All rights reserved. Purpose: Assess how pediatric dentists (PD) and general practitioners (GP) manage after-hours pediatric dental emergencies according to perceived urgency. Methods: A survey was e-mailed to PD and GP in North Carolina. Participants responded to management of 18 cases (primary and permanent dentition) according to perceived urgency. Repeated-measures logistic regression was used to analyze factors influencing perception of clinical scenarios. Results: Response rates for PD and GP were 45.5% and 36.3%, respectively. Perceived urgency varied by clinical scenarios, dentition (primary vs. permanent), and practitioner (PD vs. GP) (P<.001). Practitioners with fewer years in practice or seeing fewer pediatric patients managed more cases as urgent. Traumatic injuries in primary dentition (intrusion, pulp exposure, palatal displacement, avulsion) were managed as more urgent by GP than PD (P<.001). Emergencies related to infection and permanent dentition were perceived similarly by PD and GP. Conclusions: Clinical scenarios highlighted disagreement in the management of after-hours pediatric dental emergencies between GP and PD, especially trauma in primary dentition. General practitioners tended to refer to an ED or see urgently, and PD tended to defer care. By identifying needs for improved education in dental trauma management, we can increase utilization of the dental home, avoiding use of overburdened EDs.
Brecher, EA; Keels, MA; Best, AM; Quiñonez, RB; Roberts, MW
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