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

Evid Based Dent. 2024 Jun;25(2):111. doi: 10.1038/s41432-024-00970-3. Epub 2024 Jan 15.

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.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Care
  • Dental Care for Disabled
  • Disabled Persons
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Oral Health