The Dental Health of Children in Special National Schools in the Eastern Regional Health Authority Area

29 Aug 2002

The Dental Health Foundation welcomes the publication of The Dental Health of Children in Special National Schools in the Eastern Regional Health Authority"The following is an excerpt from the documentSummaryThe aim of this project was to investigate the oral health status of children attending Special National Schools in the Eastern Regional Health Authority. Seven hundred and four children in 12 schools were examined. This represents 32% of the target population. This was spread over five types of school from the Department of Education's categorisation of Special National Schools.It was found that in general children attending Special National Schools in the Eastern Region have a lower incidence of decay than children attending mainstream schools. They tend to have more teeth filled than has been found in other surveys of children at Special National Schools, and comparable levels to their mainstream counterparts. Younger children tend to have more teeth extracted than children at mainstream schools, however, less teeth are being left untreated. In the older age groups less teeth are being extracted and more are being filled than has been found in other surveys of children at Special National Schools.These children are also receiving a lot of fissure sealants and these may be contributing to the lower levels of decay. However, when it comes to periodontal health, extremely high levels of plaque were recorded in many of the children in all age groups and this is being reflected in higher CPITN scores, very many of the children scored CPITN scores that require treatment at a low level. This may translate into periodontal problems for these children in their adult lives.These finding for the group as a whole do, however, mask very marked differences between the different types of schools included in this survey.The children at Special National Schools mainly attend the Health Board dental services for their treatment and most parents and children find this an acceptable and appropriate service. The dental screening programmes seem to be extremely effective, with most children attending for check-ups, having been called in by the dentist."AuthorsDr Triona Mc Alister B.A., B.Dent.Sc., M.Sc.
(South Western Area Health Board)Dr Conac Bradley B.A., B.Dent.Sc., M.Sc.
(East Coast Area Health Board)