Assessment of parental satisfaction with dental treatment under general anesthesia

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Waiting lists for such treatment are long, with average wait times of at least a year after the initial diagnosis. In addition, for parents with limited income, out-of-hospital care under general anaesthesia often was not an option. Many dentists are reluctant to treat patients on social assistance, because of low provincial reimbursement rates which barely cover their costs.
It is recognized that there is a decline in access to hospital based general anaesthesia and operating rooms for paediatric dental patients. In September 2005, the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry opened a new facility, the Paediatric Dentistry Dental Anaesthesia Surgicentre, to address the growing need to provide dental treatment under general anaesthesia in the paediatric population. The goal of the Surgicentre is to provide quality patient care in a timely manner to this underserviced/marginalized population. The expansion of the program serves the dual goals of reaching out to the community while enhancing the students educational experience, reflecting objectives that are central to the Universitys academic plan.
The reported criteria for providing dental care under general anaesthesia are rampant caries in children less than five years of age or inability to cooperate when treated under local anaesthesia for five to eight-year-olds (Alcaino et al, 2000). Jamjoom et al. (2001) reported dental caries as being the most common reason for referral for general anaesthesia in patients under sixteen years of age, with the majority of children being under the age of six years. The experience of oral pain can have a considerable impact on the development of a childs growing dental fear and anxiety. However, dental fear can be learned from parents and friends, or can be the result of negative medical experiences unrelated to dental care (Berggren et al., 1997. Klingberg et al., 1995). Dental fear in children may also manifest as clinical