Objective: Due to the current global situation of refugees, Europe has experienced increased migration from African, Middle Eastern, and Eastern European countries. The objective of this study was to explore oral health, especially prosthetic status and treatment needs, in adult refugees, and to compare these findings with German cohorts.
Schlagwörter: dental status, Germany, oral health, prosthetic treatment needs, refugees
Method and materials: This representative, multicenter, cross-sectional survey on oral health and treatment needs among refugees was carried out in 10 registration centers for asylum seekers aged 18 to 75 years across Germany in 2016 to 2017. The clinical examination included past caries experience (DMFT) and both existing and necessary prosthetic measures. These measures were registered according to the National German Health Survey 2016 and compared to the German resident population.
Results: A high untreated caries experience (DT 3.9 ± 4.6) was found among refugees (n = 288, age 37 ± 12), in addition to the expected increase of caries experience with getting older (DMFT 7.4 ± 5.7 to 14.9 ± 7.7). In contrast to the German resident population, extractions were the preferred past caries treatment, resulting in a considerable number of missing teeth (MT 7.6 ± 7.3, FT 3.6 ± 4.3, 45- to 64-year-olds). Existing prosthetic treatments such as partial and full removable dental prostheses were very rare among refugees (2% to 4%). Fixed dental prostheses were mostly required in the mandible of young adults (25%, 18- to 44-year-olds), while elderly refugees required more often removable dental prostheses (45 to 64 years, 39.7% maxilla, 38.4% mandible).
Conclusions: Newly arrived refugees in Germany exhibit higher dental treatment needs in general and prosthetic treatment needs in particular due to former extractions, which were performed as a main caries treatment.