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Clinical and patient-reported outcomes in children with learning disabilities treated using the Hall Technique: a cohort study


Introduction Preformed metal crowns (PMC) placed using the Hall Technique (HT) are effective for managing carious lesions in primary molars and might be tolerable and successful for children with learning disabilities (CLD), possibly avoiding the need for sedation/ anaesthesia.

Aim To investigate the effectiveness of the HT for management of carious lesions in children with learning disabilities through a prospective service evaluation.

Methods Sixteen, 4-12-year-old CLD had 27 carious lesions managed using the HT and were followed-up. Outcomes were: 1) incidence of dental pain/infection; 2) success of treatment outcomes as judged by patients and parents/carers; and 3) adverse outcomes.

Results Twenty seven teeth treated with HT were followed up for five to 87 months (mean = 24) with no episodes of pain and/or infection in treated teeth. Treatment was rated as causing no discomfort in 80% of children and as successful by 98% of children; 96% of parents/carers, and 100% of dentists. Other adverse outcomes; occlusal surface perforation (n = 8; 30%).

Conclusion The HT was acceptable to, and effective in treating carious lesions in CLD who were unable to accept traditional restorative treatment. This alternative treatment option may avoid the need for general anaesthesia.

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JCH, MDR, JRR and NPTI are indebted to the Sheffield Community & Special Care Dentistry dental nurses who skilfully assisted with patient care, especially Anne French, Andrea Ford and Clair Jenkinson, and to Amit Vora and Rachael Bussell for help collecting follow-up data.

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Correspondence to Mark D. Robertson.

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Robertson, M., Harris, J., Radford, J. et al. Clinical and patient-reported outcomes in children with learning disabilities treated using the Hall Technique: a cohort study. Br Dent J 228, 93–97 (2020).

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