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Patients with special health care needs in pediatric dental practices

, : Patients with special health care needs in pediatric dental practices. Pediatric Dentistry 24(3): 227-228

The objective of this study was to determine the involvement of pediatric dentists in practice in managing patients with special health care needs (SCHN) upon completion of training. A questionnaire was developed, pilot tested, modified and sent to a randomly selected sample of 950 pediatric dentists in practice who were active and fellow members of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Fifty-one percent of the dentists responded. The majority were males between the ages of 41 and 50 years. Most practiced in communities with over 500,000 citizens. Most were trained in hospital-based programs, and 84% reported comprehensive didactic courses on SHCN patients during training. SCHN patients were routinely appointed in an integrated schedule in their practices. Seventy-one percent of responders continue to follow the patients after 21 years of age. Most had buildings and offices that were handicapped accessible. Patient profiles remained similar since initiating private practice with notable increases reported in the new and recall patients and patients with complicated medical histories categories. The results of this survey demonstrate the continuing involvement of pediatric dentists in private practice in scheduling and treating patients with special health care needs after the completion of training.


PMID: 12064496

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