Barriers to dental care for children with special health concerns
Children with special health concerns have been identified as being underserved in many areas including accessibility to dental health education and intervention. This pilot study was conducted to determine the barriers encountered by parents in accessing dental care for their children with special health concerns. A convenience sample of 20 parents was utilized in this investigation. Analysis of the data revealed that these parents (a) had received varying dental health information primarily identifying the source as a doctor/physician (34%), (b) had difficulties in the provision of dental care most commonly associated with their children's inability or unwillingness to clean their teeth (20%), (c) had encountered difficulties in accessing dental care for their children most often involving the expense of dentistry and the lack of dentists with training to treat children with special health concerns, and (d) suggested increasing financial resources directed toward pediatric dental care in conjunction with the greater availability of specially-trained dentists.