Relationship between duration of treatment and oral health in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate how dental outcomes changed over time among subjects with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who were under treatment.

This retrospective study included 107 subjects who were treated at a Tufts Dental Facilities clinic. Data from each subject were collected at three time points: initial visit, midpoint visit, and most recent visit. Generalized estimating equations were used to assess the relationship between time in treatment and several outcome variables (cooperation level, hygiene rating, presence of caries, periodontitis, dental pain, and infection).

Statistically significant decreases in caries (p < .001) and increases in periodontitis (p = .002) were found over time. Associations between time and other outcome variables were not statistically significant.

The prevalence of caries decreased and the prevalence of periodontitis increased over time among patients with IDDs receiving regular comprehensive dental care. Even among patients under routine maintenance, significant oral health problems remain.

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