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Oral Health Problems and Solutions in High-Risk Children and Young Adults

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Purpose: The Coordinated Healthcare for Complex Kids (CHECK) project targets publically insured children and young adults with chronic diseases. The CHECK oral health program intervenes at individual, family, and community levels. This paper describes the baseline oral health status of CHECK patients.

Methods: CHECK patients older than 18 years of age and caretakers of younger patients were asked about their oral health. Medicaid claims data were used to determine diagnoses and level of risk. Attendance data from the Chicago Public Schools was obtained to assess absenteeism.

Results: Of the 5,509 CHECK patients, 1,122 (20.4%) reported some type of oral health problem in the last six months. The most common issue was a history of dental caries (N=753, 13.7%). The odds of oral health problems increased significantly in adolescents (odds ratio [OR]=1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.02 to 1.40) and young adults (OR=1.55; 95% CI=1.31 to 1.85) compared with children. Males were less likely than females to have oral health problems (OR=0.83, 95% CI=0.73 to 0.95). Worse general health was significantly associated with oral health problems.

Conclusion: CHECK is implementing a multilevel comprehensive approach to address oral health problems.
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Keywords: CHILDREN; CHRONIC DISEASE; HEALTH DISPARITIES

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate professor and the medical director of Research and Design for Coordinated Healthcare for Complex Kids (CHECK), in the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA;, Email: [email protected] 2: Clinical assistant professor, in the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA 3: Assistant professor and the executive director of Coordinated Healthcare for Complex Kids (CHECK), in the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA

Publication date: September 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Acquired after the merger between the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2002, the Journal of Dentistry for Children (JDC) is an internationally renowned journal whose publishing dates back to 1934. Published three times a year, JDC promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. It covers a wide range of topics related to the clinical care of children, from clinical techniques of daily importance to the practitioner, to studies on child behavior and growth and development. JDC also provides information on the physical, psychological and emotional conditions of children as they relate to and affect their dental health.
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