As oral health and general health are interrelated, a preventive approach consisting of daily oral hygiene procedures and regular check-ups can stabilize progressive lesions. Aim of this study was to assess oral health status, treatment needs and attitude to oral care among nursing students and nursing staff in Chennai.
Material and Methods
A cross sectional study was carried out. Based on prevalence obtained for dental caries, it was decided to take sample size of 400 each for nursing students (final year) and nursing staff. Cluster sampling methodology was used to select samples. Each nursing college and hospital formed a cluster. Subjects were clinically examined according to WHO 1997 assessment form.
Among nursing students, 17% and among nursing staff 10.3% had healthy periodontal tissue (code 0). Majority of nursing students and nursing staff showed high prevalence for bleeding (code 1) 45.5% among nursing students and 40.1% among nursing staff. Prevalence of shallow pockets (code 3) and deep pockets (code 4) were seen among 0.3% and 0% of nursing students and among nursing staff it was seen that about 8.8% and 0.8%, had shallow and deep pockets. Mean number of sextants with code 1 or higher and code 3 or higher was more in nursing staff compared to nursing students and the difference was statistically significant. Among nursing students and nursing staff prevalence of loss of attachment was not of significance. Mean DMFT was 1.69±1.65 among nursing students and it was higher compared to nursing staff being 1.29±1.59 and difference was found to be statistically highly significant. Among nursing students one surface, two surfaces filling were required by 23.5% and 11.5% of subjects, respectively. Among nursing staff one surface restoration and two surface restorations were required by 9.3% and 3.0% of study subjects, respectively.
Present study provided data on oral health status and treatment needs of nursing students and nursing staff in Chennai. In conclusion, results of study show that periodontal disease and dental caries are not major public health problems which need immediate attention among nursing students and nursing staffs.