World Journal of Dentistry

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VOLUME 11 , ISSUE 4 ( July-August, 2020 ) > List of Articles


Blindness to the Dental Needs of Children with Visual Impairments: Caregiver's Perspectives on Traumatic Dental Injuries

Srikala Bhandary, Lekshmi R Suresh, Urvashi A Shetty, Kavitha Rai

Citation Information : Bhandary S, Suresh LR, Shetty UA, Rai K. Blindness to the Dental Needs of Children with Visual Impairments: Caregiver's Perspectives on Traumatic Dental Injuries. World J Dent 2020; 11 (4):323-327.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-1746

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-03-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


Aim: To evaluate the prevalence of traumatic dental injuries (TDIs) among children with visual impairment in residential schools of Bengaluru, Karnataka, and the dental perceptions of parents/caregivers on its management. Materials and methods: Two-hundred and twenty-one children with visual impairments within 8–14 years of age were randomly selected from three schools for the visually impaired in Bengaluru, Karnataka, and were examined clinically. Dental perspectives of the parents/care providers of these children with tooth fractures were conducted through a brief, unstructured, and an informal in-depth interview. Results: 36 among the 221 children had characteristic TDIs. Crowding, spacing, and diastema were observed in only 1 child (2.78%) and increased overjet was observed in 23 children (63.89%). 23 (63.89%) children had class I and 13 (36.11%) had class II malocclusions, respectively. The most affected teeth by dental trauma were the maxillary incisors. 13 (36.11%) children had class I fractured teeth, 16 (44.44%) had class II, 5 (13.9%) had class III, and only 2 (5.56%) had class 1V type of fractured teeth. Of the 36 children who had dental fractures, 29 (80.55%) had fractured their teeth due to fall, 2 (5.56%) due to collision, and 5 (13.89%) did not know the cause for their fractured teeth. The parents and caregivers could not give an adequate dental history for their child's traumatized teeth; wherever they could, the parents and caregivers were not willing to provide prompt dental treatments, stating the child's blindness as a reason for their avoidance of dental treatments. Conclusion: In the present study, none of the children received any form of treatment for their fractured teeth and malocclusion. The parents and caregivers of the children were of the popular opinion that the dental treatments were not a priority since the child is visually impaired. Clinical significance: Adequate oral care specifications and preventive procedures are of prime concern which should be instituted early on, with the dental health professionals providing coaching to the school employees and the parents/care providers to encourage quality oral hygiene and guide them in gaining admittance to adequate and timely dental aid.

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