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Adults with special needs see gains, challenges with long term oral care
Date:7/9/2014

icant trend for cavity rates to decline over the course of treatment. At the first visit, the rate of cavities was greater than 60 percent; at subsequent time periods (less than 3 years, 3 to 10 years, greater than 10 years), it was lower than 45 percent.

This benefit did not extend to risk of gum disease. Overall, there was a statistically significant trend for gum disease to increase over time in treatment. The researchers note that this increase is consistent with the progression of the disease in an aging adult population.

"Based on these results, patients had a significant decrease in cavities. Dental pain, infection, cooperation level, and hygiene also tended to improve over time; however, results for these outcomes were not statistically significant," said Finkelman.

"Our findings suggest that even among patients who receive routine dental care, significant oral health problems remain. The challenge now is to determine how we can find effective solutions to these problems," said senior author John Morgan, D.D.S., associate professor in the department of public health and community service at TUSDM.

A 2012 landmark study conducted by Morgan with colleagues at Tufts' School of Dental Medicine and in public health at Tufts University School of Medicine determined that access to care alone is not effective in preventing oral health disease among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Tufts Dental Facilities Serving Persons with Special Needs provides patients with dental care including examinations, dental cleanings, restorative dentistry, periodontal care, endodontic care, prosthetic dentistry, and tooth extraction. It also provides support for patients who require advanced behavioral or anxiety techniques such as sedation or general anesthesia for treatment.

The program operates eight clinics across the state of Massachusetts, located in Baldwinville, Canton, Hathorne, Groton, Taun
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Contact: Siobhan E. Gallagher
siobhan.gallagher@tufts.edu
617-636-6586
Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus
Source:Eurekalert

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