Arina Vinereanu, Aneta Munteanu, Konstantina Kritikou, Alexandru Stănculescu, Raluca Vacaru, Annelyse-Martine Garret-Bernardin, Ahu Durhan, Rodica Luca
The aim of this study is to get a comparative picture of oral health of Special Olympics (SO) athletes in the 4 countries involved in Erasmus+ project 2019-1-RO01-KA202-063820 Oral Special Care Academic Resources (OSCAR): France (FR), Italy (IT), Romania (RO) and Turkey (TR). Material and methods. A comprehensive literature search of recently published (Jan 2010-Nov 2021) data on the oral health of SO Special Smiles (SS) athletes from RO, TR, FR, IT was conducted during December 2021 according to PRISMA guidelines. PubMed electronic database was searched for full-text articles in English. From the initial 101 studies, 5 were selected. Results. Gingivitis was reported in 49.52% of FR, 60.60 to 62.2% of IT, 66.29% of TR and 70.41 to 79% of RO SO athletes. Sealants were found in 4.5% of RO and 9.4% of IT. Detailed oral health data were only available for SO RO athletes, whose treatment needs were met up to 25%; 2 out of 3 RO SO athletes had less than 10% of the needed treatment done. Conclusions. SO athletes from the four analysed countries still have a lot of unmet dental treatment needs and few sealed permanent teeth. Romanian SO athletes have poorer oral health status as compared to peers from Italy, France, and Turkey. An upgrade of the standard Special Smiles screening protocol could enable more reliable comparisons between SO athletes from various countries. Targeted preventive programs and educational projects for patients, families and dentists are needed in order to improve oral health of people with intellectual disabilities.