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J Immigr Minor Health. 2014 Feb;16(1):95-101. doi: 10.1007/s10903-013-9785-9.

The oral health status of recent immigrants and refugees in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Department of Dental Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, Dalhousie University, 5981 University Avenue, PO BOX 15000, Halifax, NS, B3H 4R2, Canada,


There are no published reports on the oral health status of adult immigrants and refugees in Canada. An oral health interview and clinical oral examination were conducted on 45 recent immigrants and 41 recent Bhutanese refugees, aged 18-67, in Nova Scotia, Canada. Over half (53%) of the immigrants and 85% of the refugees had untreated decay. Most (89% of immigrants; 98% of refugees) had moderate to severe gingivitis and the majority (73% of immigrants; 85% of refugees) had moderate to severe periodontitis. Despite these, 64% of immigrants and 49% of refugees rated their oral health as good, very good or excellent, and most believed they did not need fillings or periodontal treatment. Oral disease among the study sample was higher than the Canadian average and there was a striking discrepancy between self-reported and clinically determined need for dental care.

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