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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 13  |  Page : 30-36

Oral Health Needs Assessment of Adults with Spinal Cord Injuries Resident in an Institution

Department of Public Health Dentistry, SGT Dental & Research Institute, Budhera, Gurgaon, India

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The oral health needs of 58 adults with spinal cord injuries, resident in an institution in India, were assessed. Of the total study population (65), 6 patients were partially examined, 1 was too ill throughout the period of study. Patients with paraplegia, tetraplegia and typical ambulation possible were involved. The methods used were clinical examination of patients and questionnaires to nursing and care staff to ascertain their level of dental awareness, attitudes to oral health and their role in the provision of oral care to the patients. The level of oral health of the patients was fair. Variation existed between age groups. The overall level of edentulousness was 1.7 %. The need for restorative treatment and extractions was low (8.2%). A large number of patients 88% needed periodontal care. The nonnative assessment of treatment needs revealed that 81% patients required dental care. This figure was high as it incorporated all aspects of care from oral hygiene instruction to complete oral rehabilitation and denture treatment needs. Nursing and care staff had positive attitudes towards their personal oral health and that of the patients. The majority of the staff was involved in the provision of oral care for patients and was motivated and interested in increasing their knowledge of oral health care issues. It is recommended that staff are encouraged, empowered and facilitated in the provision of oral care to patients.

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