Dental attendance behaviour of children in Scotland between 1983 and 1988


Parental permission was sought to monitor longitudinally the dental care of a sample of 5, 8, 12 and 15-year-olds in Scotland who took part in the 1983 national survey of children's dental health. The dental treatment records of those who volunteered were released by the Scottish Dental Practice Board and the Information and Statistics Division of the Common Services Agency to the Dental Health Services Research Unit at Dundee University. The baseline epidemiological survey data was passed on by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. During the period 1983 to 1988, less than half of the children in the sample attended for dental care at least once a year on average (ie at least five times in five years) and most also let a lapse of more than 2 years occur between dental visits at some time within the 5-year study period. Around 20% of the three youngest age groups changed dentist three or more times. These results indicate that steps need to be taken to improve the dental attendance of children in Scotland if the principle of continuing care underlying the new General Dental Service contract is to be achieved


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Nuttall, N., Davies, J. Dental attendance behaviour of children in Scotland between 1983 and 1988. Br Dent J 172, 378–382 (1992).

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