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South African Dental Journal

versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versão impressa ISSN 0011-8516


RADEBE, M  e  SINGH, S. Oral health status of sentenced offenders in KwaZulu-Natal province. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2018, vol.73, n.8, pp.514-519. ISSN 0375-1562.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the oral health status, knowledge, attitude and practice of sentenced offenders in KwaZulu-Natal correctional centres METHODS: Simple random sampling selected 373 offenders from nine correctional centres in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Data were collected using a closed-ended structured questionnaire, collated and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 24 RESULTS: One hundred and sixty-one (43.2%) were aged 18-29, 144 (38.6%) in age group 30-39, 52 (13.9%) in group 40-49 and 16 (4.3%) were older than 50 years. Over two thirds of the study participants (72.7%) reported brushing teeth twice daily Oral health was perceived as poor by 292 (78.3%) offenders. Common self-reported dental problems were caries, bleeding gums, loose teeth and sensitive teeth. Cigarette smoking was prevalent and relatively high among offenders older than 50 years. CONCLUSION: Special attention is required from the Department of Correctional Services and the public oral health sector to meet the basic oral health needs of this population. A preventive-oriented oral health care system can synergistically complement other existing services offered in correctional facilities such as the smoking cessation programme. The prevalence of oral diseases of this vulnerable population can be drastically reduced

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