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Keywords:

  • disabled persons;
  • dental care for disabled;
  • oral health;
  • behavioral risk factor surveillance system

ABSTRACT

A study was conducted to describe the receipt of dental care by patients with disabilities and to understand their perspective with regard to barriers to dental care. Subjects for this study were recruited among patients with disabilities seen at Carolinas Rehabilitation's outpatient clinic. A questionnaire consisting of 66 questions was completed by 344 subjects; with the topics related to both medical and dental care. Among the study population, 57.2% of subjects reported being seen by a dentist within the last 12 months, versus 67.3% before they became disabled. The last dental appointment was a routine examination for 59.5% of the respondents. Since becoming disabled, 16.6% of subjects reported problems receiving dental care. Financial challenges were the primary problem followed by physical accessibility issues. Further research is required to discover how barriers to care can be overcome to assure that those with disabilities receive adequate dental care.