Date of Award

Summer 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Deborah Bauman

Committee Member

Michele L. Darby

Committee Member

L. Truett Lineberger

Committee Member

Ralph Powers

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.D46 D53


The purpose of this investigation was to assess the oral health, prevalence of intraoral manifestations/infections. and periodontal disease status of renal transplant recipients undergoing immunosuppressive therapy to determine their oral health needs. A purposive sample was selected via the Renal Transplant Center. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. and Nephrology Associates of Tidewater LTD from which 22 renal transplant recipients who agreed to participate were examined. Three subgroups of the population were studied: individuals with a renal transplant for less than one year. individuals with a renal transplant for one to three years and individuals with a renal transplant for more than three years.

Bacterial plaque and dental calculus were assessed using Greene and Verrnillion's (1964) Simplified Oral Hygiene Index. Periodontal disease status was determined using Rarnfjord's (1967) Periodontal Disease Index: and grade of gingival hyperplasia was assessed using a combination of Aas et al.'s (1963) vertical component. and Seymour et al.'s (1985) horizontal component of the gingiva as utilized by King et al. (1993). Intraoral lesions/manifestations were recorded by location. color. size. and characteristic, using a self-designed form.

A pilot study was performed on the first ten participants examined to determine instrumentation threats to internal validity and inrrarater reliability. Data were analyzed using the t-test for correlated samples and the nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test. All analyses were made at the .05 level of significance.

Sixty-five percent of the individuals had a poor Simplified Oral Hygiene Index rating; 85 percent of the sample exhibited some degree of periodontal disease: and 7 5 percent of the individuals presented with moderate to severe degrees of gingival hyperplasia. Only one of the 22 participants exhibited signs of intraoral lesions. Results revealed no statistically significant difference in the oral health status of renal transplant recipients undergoing immunosuppressive therapy with a kidney transplant for less than one year, for one to three years and for three or more years.


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