Aim: To investigate factors that might affect the clinical outcome of early childhood caries treatment under dental general anaesthesia (DGA).
Design: Retrospective longitudinal study. The medical records of paediatric patients with early childhood caries who underwent full dental rehabilitation under DGA during 2011 in a private medical facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, were investigated. Study parameters were the patient's financial arrangements and compliance with suggested recall plan. Statistical analysis of caries recurrence and the need to repeat the rehabilitation process was also performed.
Results: Eighteen percent failed to attend any post-operative visit. Twenty-six percent did not comply with the post-operative preventive plan. The overall relapse rate was high (58.5%), with the highest percentage (68%) among the non-compliant group. The highest frequency of repeat DGA (10%) was in the non-compliant group.
Conclusions: Despite the high rate of post-operative caries recurrence, DGA is still an acceptable treatment option as it minimises the need for future dental treatment. Compliance by caregivers with post-operative care plans is as important as the procedure itself. In Saudi Arabia, targeting the actual caregivers with post-operative dental health education presents challenges that might affect the clinical outcome of DGA.