The aim of this study was to assess and compare oral health status and treatment needs of children with special healthcare needs (SHCN) between the ages of 5 and 15, with a matched group of healthy children, in Udupi District of South India. A cross-sectional study of 265 children with SHCN was compared to 310 healthy children to assess differences in periodontal status, dentition status, treatment needs, and dentofacial anomalies using the WHO criteria. Chi-square, t-test, and Z-tests were performed to compare different variables. p≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. A significantly higher prevalence of caries (89.1%), malocclusion, and poorer periodontal status was observed among children with SHCN compared to the healthy control group. Improving the oral health of these children will require maintaining good oral hygiene practices, which can be achieved with appropriate target-based oral health approaches.
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