Over the past few decades chronic health conditions (CHCs) and disabilities among children and youth have steadily risen primarily for common conditions such as asthma, obesity, mental health conditions, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
With new technology, better drugs, and more efficient use of existing treatments an increasing number of children survive their CHCs.
In industrialized countries, over 85% of children with CHCs will survive at least to 20 years of age. Other important changes are that children with CHCs are not institutionalized as frequently as in earlier times, they receive early stimulation, and they are usually integrated in the schooling system and attend outpatient medical and dental clinics.
Yet, many of these children have not been cured or they will have disabling sequelae of their disease or treatment. Managed care protocols including oral care are at present being developed for several CHCs.
For example, in programs for children treated with stem cell transplantation it is recommended that they should be referred to the dentist prior to the start of cytotoxic therapy for oral health information as well as evaluation of the oral health status, particularly the presence of infectious foci.
°Children with Chronic Health Conditions: Implications for Oral Health
°Göran Dahllöf, Pernille Endrup Jacobsen, and Luc Martens