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Dental Cares for Patients Who Have a Hearing Impairment
Int J Clin Prev Dent 2014;10(4):215-218
Published online December 30, 2014
© 2014 International Journal of Clinical Preventive Dentistry.

Patcharaphol Samnieng

Department of Preventive Dentisty, Faculty of Dentistry, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand
Correspondence to: Patcharaphol Samnieng
Received March 17, 2014; Revised September 17, 2014; Accepted December 23, 2014.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract
Objective: Hearing impaired persons are at a greater risk for dental disease, for the most part, because of greater neglect or poor oral hygiene and access to routine dental care. The aim was to determine whether there are indications that hearing-impaired patients experience difficulties in accessing dental care and/or in receiving dental treatment. Methods: Consent for participation in this study was obtained from patients who have a hearing impairment. The study was carried out by means of a questionnaire. Two hundred four patients (92 male, 112 female, mean ages 39±7.5 years) contacted through the deaf foundation returned completed questionnaires. Results: Eighty-seven percent of all patients who have a hearing impairment had visited a dentist. Three-fourth of all patients (77%) 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. Sixty-two percent reported that the dentist had worn a mask while communicating and 55% that there had been background noise in the surgery during appointments. Conclusion: Deaf patients in particular often fail to obtain needed care because of communication difficulties experienced in the treatment situation. Removing masks while talking, reducing background noise and learning to use simple signs may improve communication with hearing-impaired patients.
Keywords : dental caries, hearing impairment, deaf, communication, tooth diseases
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