286 Latino-American Athletes with intellectual disabilities:Evaluation of dental needs

Thursday, March 22, 2012: 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Presentation Type: Poster Session
L. LOPEZ DEL VALLE, and R. HANKE, Pediatric Dentistry Department, University of Puerto Rico-MSC, San Juan, PR
Objectives: Patients/athletes with intellectual disabilities require adequate dental care and oral maintenance that include preventive follow up. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the oral health status and dental needs of the 930 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 36 Latin-American countries who were participating in the II Latin-American Special Olympics games held in Puerto Rico, February 2010.

Methods: Of the 930 participating athletes only 443 received a dental examination, and 377 were from Latin-American countries. Forty for trained and standardized dentists performed dental screenings of athletes with intellectual disabilities, following Special Smiles (SS) and CDC criteria. These criteria were used to record untreated decay, missing and filled teeth and others. Socio-demographics, pain and oral hygiene habits were assessed by questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using EPI-INFO and SPSS Program to produce descriptive statistics.

Results: Mean age of athletes was 24 years. Sixty seven percent were male. Untreated decay was found in 55.5 % of the participants. Missing and filled teeth were found in 34.5% and 56.2% of the participants respectively. More than 50% of participants had gingival signs of gums disease and 52% needed preventive mouth guards. Statistics for each Latin-American country suggests a similar trend of dental decay and treatment needs.


The data presents a population with specific needs and dental disease. Preventive treatment should be encouraged as a public policy in order to meet the needs of patients with intellectual disabilities. (Supported by the Special Smiles Special Olympics Program).

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source: Special Smiles Special Olympics Health Athletes Program

Keywords: Epidemiology and special needs