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Oral Ill-health and Deprivation Among Patients of a General Dental Practice in South Wales

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Purpose of study: This study aims to establish and report on whether individuals from deprived areas suffer more ill health than adults from areas considered not to be deprived when visiting a general dental practice.

Basic procedures: Between December 1998 and June 1999 registered dental patients over 18 years of age attending for routine care completed a questionnaire measuring functional, experiential and psychosocial impact of oral ill health. In addition the clinical impact of ill health was established from the patient examination and record card. Clinical outcome was assessed by numbers of standing teeth, oral health was assessed using the Subjective Oral Health Status Indicators (SOHSI). The patient's postcode was used to categorise individuals from areas of different deprivation states.

Main findings: 99% were dentate with 88.4% having more than 20 teeth. A total of 71.8% were able to eat satisfactorily, 88.2% were able to speak satisfactorily, 54.6% were discontent, 99.4% were worried about their oral health and appearance, 62.8% were satisfied with their oral health, 44.8% experienced discomfort, 65.8% experienced other symptoms, and 86.8% experienced 'general wellbeing'. No differences were observed for clinical measures between the deprived groups. Only three out of eight oral health measures showed any differences between the deprived groups, namely, ability to speak, discontent and general well-being. More individuals from deprived areas experienced these impacts.

Principal conclusions: It was anticipated that individuals from deprived areas would experience greater illhealth: this outcome was not as marked as expected.
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Keywords: DEPRIVATION; GENERAL DENTAL PRACTICE; ORAL HEALTH STATUS; PRIMARY DENTAL CARE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2002

More about this publication?
  • Primary Dental Care is the research journal of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK), and the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated wholly to research in primary care dentistry. The aim of the journal is to promote academic and research aspects of primary dental care by publishing relevant peer-reviewed papers. In addition, reviews, reports of clinical cases, book reviews, opinions, summaries and abstracts of scientific meetings and news items are included.
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