Aims: To evaluate the oral health status of patients with moderate-severe chronic renal failure (CRF) and with terminal renal failure (TRF).
Design: The study group was formed of 50 patients: 22 (44%) with moderate-severe CRF and 28 (56%) with TRF included in a haemodialysis programme. The controls (n=64) presented similar characteristics with regard to sex, age, weight and educational level. A single dentist performed an intraoral examination on all the subjects, gathering information on: number of decayed, missing or filled teeth; supragingival plaque accumulation; calculus deposits; periodontal pockets in the Ramfjord teeth; and depth of loss of insertion.
Results: No significant differences were detected in the values of the DMF index between the two groups. The mean number of decayed teeth was lower in the patients than in the controls, showing a tendency to statistical significance (p=0.052). The mean number of missing teeth was higher in the patients than in the controls (p=0.002). Twelve patients and seven controls were completely edentate. The mean number of filled teeth was significantly lower in the patients than the controls (p<0.001). Supragingival plaque accumulation and the loss of insertion were significantly greater in the patients than in the controls (p=0.006 and p<0.001, respectively). No significant differences were found with respect to the calculus deposits or to the presence of periodontal pockets in the two groups. The value of the DMF index, the mean number of teeth with caries and the number of filled teeth were significantly higher in the patients with moderate-severe CRF than in the patients with TRF (p=0.004, p=0.030 and p=0.006, respectively).
Conclusions: Patients with CRF have a lower prevalence of caries, more supragingival plaque, more teeth with a loss of insertion and more missing teeth than the healthy controls. The prevalence of caries is affected by the severity of the renal failure and/or by haemodialysis treatment.