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Int J Dent Hyg. 2014 Feb;12(1):74-8. doi: 10.1111/idh.12043. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Oral health assessment in the San Blas and Santa Ana populations of Nicaragua.

Author information

  • 1Division of Dental Hygiene, Department of Dental Medicine, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA.

Abstract

AIM:

The aim of this study was to assess the oral health of a population in rural Nicaragua.

METHODS:

A total of 241 individuals were recruited from areas around San Blas and Santa Ana, Nicaragua. A demographic questionnaire assessing income, access to oral health care, means of transportation and presence of dental/health insurance was collected for each patient. Oral screenings were also conducted to assess for evidence of untreated decayed teeth, restorations, missing/extracted teeth and presence/absence of periodontal disease.

RESULTS:

The majority of residents in San Blas and Santa Ana, Nicaragua, have little income if any, no medical or dental insurance of any kind and no means of transportation. There was a very high prevalence of untreated decayed teeth among the population studied where 51.1% of our sample had three or more dental caries. Children aged fewer than 20 years had five times the prevalence of dental decay than those in the United States. No statistically significant difference was found in untreated decayed teeth by age or gender. A smaller percentage (25.2%) of all patients had restorations with a statistically significant difference found between genders (P < 0.0001). There was also a relationship between gender and number of missing/extracted teeth (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in amount of untreated decayed teeth among those who reported having been seen by a dentist within the previous one-to-three, greater than 3 years or never at all.

CONCLUSION:

Among a population of individuals from San Blas and Santa Ana, Nicaragua, there are major socio-economic barriers present, and a significant burden of oral pathology is evident.

© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

KEYWORDS:

Nicaragua; access to health care; dental caries; dental health surveys; dentistry; oral health; periodontal diseases; world health

PMID:
23865892
[PubMed - in process]
PMCID:
PMC3855585
[Available on 2015/2/1]
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