Hospital admissions for dental treatment among children with cleft lip and/or palate born between 1997 and 2003: an analysis of Hospital Episode Statistics in England

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Background.Children with clefts have an increased tendency for dental anomalies and caries.Aim.To determine the pattern of hospital admissions for dental treatment during primary dentition among children with clefts.Design.Cohort study based on Hospital Episode Statistics, an administrative database of all admissions to National Health Service hospitals in England. Patients born alive between 1997 and 2003 who had both a cleft diagnosis and cleft repair were included. The number of hospital admissions for surgical removal of teeth, simple extraction of teeth, and restoration of teeth before the age of seven was examined.Results.Eight hundred and fifty-eight hospital admissions for dental treatment among 6551 children (<7 year) with a cleft were identified. 66.4% of admissions were primarily for caries and 95.6% involved extractions. 11.4% of children had at least one admission for dental treatment. The presence of additional anomalies, having a more severe cleft type, and living in relatively deprived areas increased the risk of hospital admission.Conclusions.Factors increasing the risk of hospital admission among cleft children should be taken into account when planning services. Efforts to reduce the number of hospital admissions should be focused on disease prevention, particularly among those most at risk of caries.International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 2014; 24: 200–208

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