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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 353-359

Oral health status and treatment needs of a screened university population in Port Harcourt, Rivers State

Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Choba Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

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BACKGROUND: Inadequate oral health facilities coupled with poor utilization of oral services engender poor oral health and hygiene status among the population. The study aimed to describe the oral health status and identify the oral health needs of a screened university community. METHODS: The study was a descriptive analytic study involving 215 attendees of free oral screening at the two campuses of the University of Port Harcourt. Data was collected using self-administered questionnaire and oral examination. Analysis of data was done using statistical package for social sciences version 20 (IBM SPSS Armonk, New York).Association between variables was tested using Chi-square and significance determined at 0.05 alpha level. RESULTS: Of the total participants, 128 (59.5%) were females and 87 (40.5%) were males. Majority of the respondents 164 (76.3%) were students, 161(74.9%) of the participants had fair oral hygiene and the oral hygiene was significantly (p<0.001)poor among the older subjects. Almost all the participants 214(99.5%) used toothbrush and toothpaste to clean the teeth. Calculus, stains, gingivitis and halitosis were detected in 67.4%, 66.0%, 67.0% and 66.5% of the participants respectively. Calculus (p=0.03) and stains (p=0.001) were significantly more in the older subjects than younger subjects. The population mean DMFT was 0.86. None of the respondents had filled teeth. Only 12(5.6%) of the respondents had toothache which was significantly (p=0.02) more in older age than the younger age group. The treatment and tooth fatality indices were 52.7%. CONCLUSION: The oral hygiene of the participants was fair and the prevalence of gingivitis and halitosis was high. Decayed and missing teeth accounted for the mean DMFT observed in this study. These findings indicate a high level of unmet dental treatment need among the participants.

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