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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 130-134

Patterns of dental problems and time gap in utilization of dental services by patients visiting a dental college in North Kerala


Department of Public Health Dentistry, Century International Institute of Dental Science and Research Center, Kasaragod, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. T Vanishree
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Century International Institute of Dental Science and Research Center, Poinachi, Kasaragod - 671 541, Kerala
India
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DOI: 10.4103/srmjrds.srmjrds_42_19

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Introduction: Access to dental services is generally regarded as a necessary condition for achieving population-level oral health and well-being. Oral diseases are largely preventable by regular home oral care and preventive dental visits which help in the early detection and treatment of oral diseases. Aim: The objective was to assess the patterns of dental problems and time gap in utilizing dental services. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on outpatients who visited Century Dental College, Kasaragod, Kerala, for duration of 6 months from July 2017 to December 2017. The data were collected from medical records from the outpatient department. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Results: A total of 2593 cases were analyzed. The mean age was 35.66 ± 13.2 years. The most common dental problem reported was decayed teeth (29.3%) followed by dental pain (23.5%) and deposits on teeth (14.4%). Only 3.98% of the patients visited immediately the next day as soon as they noticed black discoloration and/or informed about their decayed tooth. Males reportedly approached the college more than females for most of the chief complaints except for replacement of missing teeth. Conclusions: The most common dental problem reported was decayed teeth followed by dental pain and deposits on teeth. Only 3.77% of the patients reported for a routine dental checkup. Twelve percent of patients reported immediately the next day after experiencing dental pain. Most of the participants visit a dentist only if they had a problem.


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