Oral Health Status and Treatment Needs Among SHCN

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Vikram Pal Aggarwal Ashish Kakkar Sandeep Sidhu Shobit Singh

Abstract

Introduction: The provision of dental services to children with SHCN historically has been given limited attention by the dental profession. Under-diagnosis and differential oral health treatment contribute to the poor oral health of adults with disabilities. This study was done to assess the oral health status and behavior among those children.
Materials and Method: The study sample comprised of 317 subjects who were disabled and attending special schools. All the teeth were examined for dental caries. Mouth mirrors and CPI probes were used according to the WHO criteria. Clinical assessment of the oral health status was done by using the simplified oral hygiene index, DMFT. Chi square test and ANOVA were used to compare categorical variables.
Results: The study consists of 317 intellectually disabled (ID) children, divided into three groups, out of which 65 (20.50%), 184 (58.04%) and 68 (21.45%) were suffering from autism, cerebral palsy and mental retardation respectively. Irrespective of the type of disability, most of the subjects went to dentist only in need. The mean±SD decayed teeth in subjects with mental retardation, cerebral palsy and autism were 2.37±1.01, 1.91±1.50 and 1.75±1.11 respectively. 58.82% of the mentally retarded subjects reported with poor oral hygiene status.
Conclusion: In comparison with normal children, the disabled subjects were not given enough dental care with respect to their treatment needs. Taking into consideration the multi factorial influence on oral health status of the present disabled population, oral health promotion and intervention programs should be targeted and concentrated towards these risk groups.

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