Dr. Ashima, *Dr. Dinesh Kumar and Dr. Savita Prashar


Context: Oral health care is usually treatment neglected in preventive care as well as in treatment of dental problems. Dental treatment neglect has been found to be related to poor oral health which may lead to poor growth among children and impaired quality of life. However, it could not receive proper public attention in India. Objective: To investigate prevalence of dental treatment neglect among children and adolescents attending schools or living in a deprived inner area along with factors associated with dental treatment neglect. Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted during March 2022 to July 2022 among 268 children and adolescents students aged 6 to 19 years in Sidhpur, Palampur area of district Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India. A stratified multistage random sampling technique was used for this study. Results: Out of 268 respondents, 118 (44%) were female and remaining 150 (56%) were males. Majority (94.2%) of surveyed respondents were from rural background. Prevalence of dental problem during last one year was found 40.3%. Among 108 respondents who suffered from dental problems, 61 (56.5%) respondents were of the opinion that it was not necessary to consult for their problems. Prevalence of dental treatment neglect was found 41.7%. Prevalence of dental treatment neglect was highest among respondents aged 10-13 years. Dental treatment neglect was least (34.6%) among children aged 6- 9 years. The difference between prevalence rates of dental treatment neglect among children aged 6-9 years (34.6%) was significantly lower than the prevalence rate (43.9%) among adolescents aged 10-19 years. The difference in the prevalence rates of dental treatment neglect among respondents from rural area (40.8%) was significantly lower than that for those from urban area. Conclusions and Suggestions: Present study reported high prevalence of dental treatment neglect among children and adolescents in a deprived inner area irrespective of their socio-demographic characteristics except background/place of residence. Problem of dental treatment neglect among children should be addressed properly to prevent adverse impacts on their overall health status as healthy teeth and gums are desired for their healthy adulthood. There is an urgent need of developing public dental health interventions to address dental treatment neglect for adolescents and children. Periodic dental check-up camps should be organized by health professionals in schools and community levels. Oral health education should be imparted among children and adolescents for adopting hygiene practices and timely seeking dental health care.

Keywords: Children and Adolescents; Dental Treatment Neglect (DN); Dental Treatment Neglect (DTN); Oral Health.

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