The Effects of Poor Dental Knowledge on Oral Health.
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Objective: The objective of this clinical case report is to evaluate the effects of low dental knowledge and low socioeconomic status on the oral health of an individual. Background: A 32 year old Hispanic male presented to the dental hygiene clinic as a new patient with a negative medical history with the exception of untreated hypertension diagnosed at his last physical examination 5 years earlier. Patient reported smoking 2 to 3 cigarettes per day. Patient had received a prophylaxis 5 years ago in Mexico at a free clinic, but he has never been able to receive regular dental care due to his low socioeconomic status. Patient had limited oral health education prior to his visit to the dental hygiene clinic. Assessment: Patient presented with generalized moderate to severe plaque induced marginal gingivitis as evidenced by red, spongy, rolled gingiva, and a bleeding score of 74%. The periodontal description revealed generalized mild chronic periodontitis as evidenced by 4-5mm CAL and localized moderate chronic periodontitis as evidenced by 6-7mm CAL on #1, #4, #5, #11, #13, #14, and #18. Patient also presented with generalized mild horizontal bone loss on radiographs as evidenced by 2.6mm to 3.5mm measurements from crest of alveolar bone to the CEJ. The patient’s plaque score ranged from 18% to 26% and generalized moderate to heavy supragingival and subgingival calculus was detected. Active decay was found on #2, #16, #17, #28, and #30. Dental Hygiene Care Plan: Patient received scaling and root planing in all four quadrants, a tissue re-evaluation and extensive oral hygiene instruction. Results: At the tissue re-evaluation, the patient’s gingival health and probing depths were improved. Conclusion: The patient’s positive response to treatment is the result of the thorough scaling and root planning therapy, extensive patient education, and patient compliance.