Presenting Chief Complaints And Clinical Characteristics Among Patients Attending The Department Of Paediatric Dentistry Clinic At The University Of Nairobi Dental Hospital
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the chief complaints and clinical presentation among patients attending the Department of Paediatric Dentistry clinic at the University of Nairobi Dental Hospital (UONDH). DESIGN: A retrospective survey of hospital records. SETTING: The University of Nairobi Dental Hospital. SUBJECTS: Patients who attended the Department of Paediatric Dentistry clinic during a three year period. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Chief complaint, dental caries, gingivitis, traumatic injuries, treatment at first visit. RESULTS: The records of 800 patients were examined, including 391 male and 400 female. The average age of the patients was 9.0 years. The presenting complaint for most patients was dental pain (31.5%), orthodontic related complaints (25.4%) and dental decay (19.7%). Very few children attended for dental check-up (3.9%). Five hundred ninety (73.8%) children suffered from dental caries, while 275 (34.4%) children manifested gingivitis. The average number of teeth decay was 3.71 (SD+/-3.76). Only 51 (6.4%) children attended with traumatic injuries to the dentition. Treatment performed at the first visit mainly consisted of dental extractions (21.8%), oral prophylaxis and dental health education (20.5%) and restorative treatment (20.0%). CONCLUSIONS: The presenting complaint for most patients was pain. However, there was an almost equal demand for orthodontic treatment. Dental caries was the most prevalent dental disease. Oral prophylaxis and dental health education (DHE) constituted a significant component of treatment offered at first visit.