Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is one of the most common childhood diseases in preschool children. Many young pediatric patients with ECC receive Dental treatment under Dental General Anesthesia (DGA). Changes in Oral Health-Related Quality of Life (OHRQoL) can be used to assess the outcome of DGA treatment. The aim of our study was to assess whether dental rehabilitation of young UAE children under DGA improved OHRQoL for children and their families.
Materials and Methods:
A cross sectional study, using a pre-and-post design survey to evaluate changes in OHRQoL following comprehensive dental treatment under GA was conducted. A total of 173 parents completed Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS) before and three to six months after their children mean age 4.6 (+ 1.86 years) underwent comprehensive dental treatment under DGA by a specialist pediatric dentist in a pediatric dental clinic in Al Ain City, Abu Dhabi Emirate during a year period from 1st March 2017 to 28th February 2018. The ECOHIS and its effect size (ES) served to evaluate children's OHRQoL, the Wilcoxon signed-rank, Internal consistency and the Kruskal-Wallis test were used for statistical analyses.
A total of 244 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria were included in the study pre-operatively. However, 71 participants did not complete the post-operative questionnaire and a total number of 173 parents completed the pre- and post-operative ECOHIS questionnaires, and this accounted for 71% response rate. The mean dmft of the children prior to the treatment was 13.8 (+ 3.07). Pain and eating problems among children and parents feeling upset and guilty were the most frequently reported impacts at baseline. The overall ECOHIS scores decreased significantly (p < 0.001) after DGA treatment, revealing a large ES for the child (2.19) and family (2.79) sections of the ECOHIS. The change in the child’s self-image and social interaction scores was statistically related to their caries experience.
DGA treatment resulted in significant improvement in all child and family physical, psychological and social aspects of oral health quality of life. There is a need for studies to involve more children including those with special needs and medically compromised children in all of the UAE emirates and also studies for surveying the effect of DGA on OHRQoL of school age children, with the questionnaires being completed by children themselves and not their parents/guardians.||en_US