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Xjenza Online Vol. 6 Iss. 1 - September 2018
The Oral Health Status of the Gozitan Community

Authors: Anne-Marie Agius, Ethel Vento Zahra, Emad Alzoubi, Maria Luisa Gainza-Cirauqui, Gabriella Gatt, Nikolai Attard

Corresponding: Anne-Marie Agius (anne-marie.agius@um.edu.mt)

Keywords: Gozo, oral health, outreach, mobile dental unit, DMFT, BEWE, functional units

Doi: http://dx.medra.org/10.7423/XJENZA.2018.1.01

Issue: Xjenza Online Vol. 6 Iss. 1 - September 2018

Abstract:
The objectives of this study is to assess the oral health status and treatment needs of Gozo residents { a geographically isolated community. A crosssectional study of 332 Gozitan attendees on the Mobile Dental Unit was carried out during a three-month period in 14 localities in Gozo. The participants attended for a dental check-up and indices were used to record caries, plaque, calculus, erosion, soft tissue pathologies and number of dental functional units. Of the 332 participants 76.8% presented with plaque deposits, 78% require either restorative or periodontal treatment while signs of erosive wear were present in 28% of participants. In younger age bands (0{9 and 10{19) untreated carious lesions amount to 1.34 and 1.0 (DT portion of DMFT) respectively, care index FT ( lled teeth)/DMFT was 0.37 overall. Most participants in 50+ age bands had less than 10 remaining functional units. Thus, the oral health status of the Gozitan community shows a high level of unmet dental treatment needs. This underscores the need for provision of better dental services in Gozo, re-orientation of existing services to focus on prevention, and introduction of evidence-based preventive strategies in school-children.