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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 15  |  Page : 74-80

Dental Caries, Treatment Needs and Oral Hygiene Status of 6-15-year old individuals with special needs, attending special learning schools in Shimla city, H.P.- India: A Cross-sectional study.

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Background: Individuals with special needs have poorer oral health than does the general population. Dental care is consistently reported as one of the top medical needs of children with disabilities. Objectives: This study was conducted to assess the dentition status, treatment needs, and oral hygiene status of individuals with different disability conditions; and to compare the oral health status of these groups of individuals. Methods: A total of 54 individuals with special needs, 6-15-years-old, attending three special learning schools in Shimla city were examined in a cross-sectional survey. Dental caries and treatment needs were assessed using the World Health Organization (WHO) method of oral health surveys (1997), and oral hygiene status was assessed using the Simplified Oral Hygiene Index. Oral health education and hygiene instructions were given to the caregivers. Statistical analysis : One-way ANOVA test. Results: Prevalence of dental caries was 90.74%. The mean deft and DMFT were 3.07 (S.D. = 1.94) and 3.75 (S.D. = 1.31), respectively. Decayed component formed the majority of the caries index. The inter-group comparison showed no statistically significant difference in the deft / DMFT (p=0.501 & 0.11, respectively) and OHI-S (p=0.50) between the different disability conditions. Treatment needs were high with 92% of the decayed teeth in need for treatment. Oral hygiene status was fair (Mean OHI-S=1.85± 0.73). Conclusions: It was concluded that prevalence of dental caries was quite high along with substantial unmet treatment need.

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