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Oral health characteristics and treatment of individuals with special needs a tertiary institution: A 3 year retrospective study.

T.O Ligali
C.I Nzomiwu
J.F Ashaolu
F.A Oredugba


Objectives: To assess the oral health characteristics and the treatments carried out on individuals with special needs attending the Dental Clinic of Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
Methods: A three-year retrospective study of all individuals with special needs that ttended the dental clinic of a tertiary health center. All relevant data including biodata, type of special need, oral health conditions and treatments carried out were extracted from the case notes and analyzed.
Results: Out of 115 records extracted, there were 15 different types of special needs. More than half of the participants were males (54.8%) and their mean age was 12.4 years (SD±7.2). The most frequently recorded study participants with special needs were those with Down syndrome (20.9%). The most common oral conditions were gingivitis (65.2%) and dental caries (37.4%). Dental caries was significantly prevalent among participants with cleft lip/palate and the visually impaired (p=0.02). Of all treatments offered, preventive therapies were most commonly performed.
Conclusion:The most common oral health problems among the study population were gingivitis and dental caries. There is need for improved oral health promotion strategies and provision of services for these underserved populations.

Keywords: Oral health, treatment, special needs

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eISSN: 0189-5710