Aim and objective: To assess the dental caries experience, oral hygiene status, and traumatic dental injuries (TDI) among the visually impaired in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Materials and methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 318 subjects. The questionnaire recorded the Decayed-Missing-Filled Tooth Index (DMFT), Oral Hygiene Index-Simplified [OHI(S)], and TDI. Discrete data were analyzed using Student\'s t-test and continuous data was analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). A p value was set at 0.05 as significant.
Results: The mean age of the study population was 13.9 ± 3.5 years. The caries prevalence was 69.2% with a caries experience of 1.23 ± 2.16. The OHI(S) score was 1.6 ± 1.0 and the prevalence of TDI was 27.6% in this population.
Conclusion: Visually impaired subjects showed a higher dental caries experience, fair oral hygiene status, and extensive TDI. This study population lacked adequate knowledge concerning appropriate usage of oral hygiene aids, accurate brushing techniques, ill-effects of cariogenic diet, and lacked periodic dental visits.
Clinical significance: Children and adults living with disabilities have fewer healthy teeth, more untreated tooth caries, and periodontal diseases compared to the general population. Yet, they have the same rights to good oral health and oral healthcare as the rest of the population. If the dental care needs of these populations have to be met then, there is a need for a refurbished dental curriculum emphasizing the training of the dental team to meet the needs of people with special needs.
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