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Br Dent J. 2000 Aug 12;189(3):155-9.

Dental care for children and young people who have a hearing impairment.

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WHO Collaborating Centre for Disability, Culture and Oral Health, Eastman Dental Institute, London, UK.



The aim was to determine whether there are indications that hearing-impaired children experience difficulties in accessing dental care and/or in receiving dental treatment.


The study was carried out by means of a questionnaire. Parents of 84 children contacted through the National Deaf Children's Society returned completed questionnaires.


Eighty-two children (98%) had visited a dentist. Nearly two-thirds (63%) were reported to have at least one problem in communication while receiving dental care, this increased significantly as the severity of the hearing impairment increased. Fifty-nine children (70%) reported having at least one problem in communication at the doctors'. Fifty-two (62%) reported that the dentist had worn a mask while communicating with the child and 48 (57%) that there had been background noise in the surgery during appointments.


Removing masks while talking, reducing background noise and learning to use simple signs may improve communication with hearing-impaired children.

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