A Comparison of Oral Health Status and Need for Dental Care Between Abused/Neglected Children and Nonabused/Non-Neglected Children
WALTER REED ARMY INST OF RESEARCH FORT GEORGE G MEADE MD
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This paper compares oral health status and presence of untreated, decayed permanent teeth in abusedneglected children with nonabusednonneglected controls. The sample comprised 903 children between 5 and 13 years old 30 were confirmed cases of child abuse and 873 served as controls. Their oral health status was assessed by two calibrated dentists using the DMFS index. Presence of untreated, decayed teeth was determined from the decayed and unfilled component of the DMFS score. The data were analyzed using logistic regression so that the influence of other explanatory variables on oral health status and presence of untreated, decayed teeth could be controlled while the influence of abuse status was evaluated. Results show that abuse status is an important explanatory variable for both oral health status and presence of untreated, decayed teeth. While the impact of abuse status on oral health status is obscured by interactions with other explanatory variables, its impact on the presence of untreated, decayed teeth is clear. Abused children are eight times more likely to have untreated, decayed permanent teeth than nonabused children. Accordingly, it is recommended that confirmed cases of child abuse neglect should be referred routinely for dental screening as part of their overall rehabilitation. Child abuse, Child neglect, Oral health status, Dental treatment needs.
- Medicine and Medical Research