Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Senior Lecturer, Dept of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Care Dental College and Hospital, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India.

2 Professor and HOD, Dept. of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry St.Joseph Dental College, India.

3 Reader Dept. of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry St. Joseph Dental College, India.

4 Postgraduate Student, Dept. of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, St. Joseph Dental College, India.

Abstract

Statement of the Problem: Hearing impaired children have a problem in understanding and comprehending with dental treatments. Visual language is the sensible answer of how to improve communication with them.Purpose: To evaluate the applicability of dental sign language in Hearing impaired children in relieving anxiety during stressful dental treatment by improving their means of communication.Materials and Method: This randomized clinical trial was carried out in the Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry which included 40 Hearing Impaired children meeting inclusion criteria. The selected children were randomly divided into the study and control group comprising of 20 each. In the control group, initial oral examination and dental treatment (oral prophylaxis and class I restoration) were performed without the use of dental sign language. In the study group, the dental sign language specific to dental treatment was educated and during their subsequent visit to the dental clinic after dental sign language reinforcement, oral prophylaxis and class I restoration were done. Subjective and objective measurements of anxiety were recorded for both groups using facial image scale (FIS), pulse oximeter and electronic blood pressure apparatus to compare for correlation. The obtained data were subjected to statistical analysis using unpaired t-test.Results: There was a statistically significant reduction in the anxiety levels (p< 0.05) in the study group compared to the control group.Conclusion: Dental sign language was effective in reducing the level of anxiety in children who are hard of hearing. Dental sign language was able to improve behavior positively during dental treatment and may also aid in developing a positive dental attitude among children who are hard of hearing. Keywords ● Dental sign language  ● Anxiety  ● Hearing impairment  ● Dental treatment