|Motlatjo Annah Maaga (email@example.com)|
|Operative Dentistry, University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus)|
|OBJECTIVE: The Careline Clinic at the Medunsa Oral Health Centre is a name given to the emergency dental care clinic of the hospital. The clinic attends to patients with pain and discomfort in the oro-facial area other than extractions. Lack of information on patient numbers and the reasons for attending were part of the problem. The profile of patients treated in the Careline Clinic during 2008 and 2009 was investigated.
METHODOLOGY: The study was retrospective and descriptive statistics were used. Records of patients who were referred to the Careline Clinic from the Screening section were retrieved for the period January 2008 to December 2009. A total of 1278 and 827 patient records for 2008 and 2009 respectively were analysed by using graphs and tables. The age of patients who attended the Careline Clinic was analysed according to the mean, standard deviation and the range. Data analysis was done using Statistical Analysing System (SAS).
RESULTS: The common age range of patients treated in the Careline Clinic was between 25 and 34 years old. There were more females than males in the two years. The common race seen was Black. The main reasons for seeking treatment were pain (74.6%), trauma (9.6%), those requesting restorations (7.0%), hypersensitive teeth (3.3%) and check-up (1.5%). The recorded treatment procedures mostly offered were emergency root canal treatment (31.1%), indirect pulp capping (14%), desensitization of teeth (3.6%) and temporary restorations (5.3%).
CONCLUSION: It is envisaged that this study will benefit the Medunsa Oral Health centre in planning the infrastructural requirements of the Careline Clinic and students will receive extended clinical exposure in the management of different dental emergencies.
KEY WORDS: emergency, dental, profile, patients