Reasons for referrals to endodontists of children and adolescents. A quality assurance study within the Public Dental System of Vestland county
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This thesis is part of a project to quality assure the clinical practice at The Oral Health Centre of Expertise in Western Norway (TkV/H). The aim of the thesis was to investigate the reasons why children and adolescents aged 0-20 were referred to specialists in endodontics for treatment. From previously collected data on referrals to specialist in endodontics it was extracted all patients from group A (0-18 years) and D (19-20 years), and the reasons for referrals were sorted into categories. 609 patients were in total included in the population of the current thesis. From the statistical analysis it is evident that technical difficulty, trauma, endodontic retreatment and the need for interdisciplinary collaboration are the main reasons why young patients were referred to endodontists. The obtained results, that are based on children and adolescents in a Norwegian population, do not differ much from other similar studies regarding referrals of adult patients to endodontists. However, dental trauma, resorptions and treatment of immature teeth, are more frequently observed in the obtained data compared to referrals of adults. This thesis substantiates evidence for the need for regional competence centres where general dental practitioners can refer patients to provide the best possible care for each individual patient. Especially in a technically challenging field like this, where both paediatric and endodontic problems need to be solved simultaneously.