Inpatient dental consultations done at a pediatric hospital in 2017 were analyzed to determine consult reasons, requesting departments, and patient characteristics. Findings were compared to a 2007 study from the hospital.
Data were collected from medical records. Descriptive statistics and logistic regressions were calculated. In 2017, 300 consults were performed for 211 patients (1.8% of inpatients). hematology-oncology requested the most consults (63%). Evaluation prior to cancer treatment, cardiac surgery, or organ transplantation was the most common reason for consult requests (52%). Fifty-eight percent patients had a dental home; older patients were more likely to have a dental home (P < .001). Patients with a dental home were less likely to have caries (P = .047). Many patients with a dental home had caries (33% in 2007 and 29% in 2017); more patients without a dental home had caries (46% in 2007 and 38% in 2017).
This study both supports the dental home concept and reveals that many children with a dental home have treatment needs. This indicates that medical providers should not equate having a dental home with having dental health and emphasizes the value of an in-hospital dental service to support the management of critically ill children.
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