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Access to dental care in individuals with disability: a systematic review

Abstract

Objective

This systematic review was conducted to explore the factors influencing access to oral health services and to identify and examine the strategies to improve the access.

Materials and methods

PubMed, Scopus and Embase databases were searched. Studies except editorials reported in English regardless of the study design were included. Risk of Bias assessment was carried out using Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Newcastle Ottawa Scale and The Joanna Briggs Institute tool for cross-sectional, case-control and cohort and qualitative studies, respectively.

Results

In total, 11,372 records were initially identified, eventually leading to 12 relevant publications to be included in the review. Individuals valued oral health but found it difficult to access oral health services. Dental care was mainly accessed during emergencies and participants felt apprehensive in visiting dentists. Caregiver’s and dentist’s perspective was also reported.

Conclusion

There is a need for provision of education, training and increasing awareness on dental hygiene and annual dental checkups to improve access.

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Data availability

The data are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

USB: conception, data acquisition, visualization, interpretation, and drafted the manuscript. BP: data acquisition, synthesis, interpretation, and drafted the manuscript. HP: provision and management of study literature resources, critically revised the manuscript. All authors gave their final approval and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work. The authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Harsh Priya.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Bhadauria, U.S., Purohit, B. & Priya, H. Access to dental care in individuals with disability: a systematic review. Evid Based Dent 25, 111 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41432-024-00970-3

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