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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 98-100  

Self-perceived need for dental care

Department of Prosthodontics, Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission31-Oct-2014
Date of Decision31-Oct-2014
Date of Acceptance09-Nov-2014
Date of Web Publication30-Apr-2015

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Sanjna Nayar
Department of Prosthodontics, Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-7406.155825

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Aims: The aim of this study is to evaluate the self-perceived need for dental care among medical professionals and general public. Setting and Design: (1) To determine the perceived oral health status. (2) To evaluate the results in understanding the perception of oral health. (3) To determine the patients attitude toward dentist.Subjects and Methods: The study was carried out on 537 patients who came for their regular checkup and treatment. Statistical Analysis Used: The statistical analysis of this study was based on Chi-square test evaluation. The study was performed among in 537 participants. The participants included from age group of both <30 and >30. The study was made in the form of questionnaires enquiring how they would perceive their personal dental care and their attitude towards dentist. Results: Self-perceived questionnaires in evaluating general public in age group of <30 and >30 shows, that people in age group more than 30 has good oral hygiene maintenance, whereas attitude toward dentist and attending dental problems were more among group less than 30 of age. Conclusions: I conclude that there must be more awareness created by public health dentist among people about various dental problems, their complications and the treatment needs. Hence, that people be aware of their dental problem at the small stage and get cured. By conducting varies Public Health Programs and camp they became very free to contact their dentist for their varies dental problems and people attitude about dentist and toward dentist completely changes.

Keywords: Dental care, oral hygiene, self perceived

How to cite this article:
Dhanasekaran R, Nayar S. Self-perceived need for dental care. J Pharm Bioall Sci 2015;7, Suppl S1:98-100

How to cite this URL:
Dhanasekaran R, Nayar S. Self-perceived need for dental care. J Pharm Bioall Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Aug 14];7, Suppl S1:98-100. Available from:

The self-perceived need for dental care is influenced by self-evaluation of dental health and by service use. [1] Self-perceived need for dental care results oral health condition of an every individual. [2] The degree of deficiencies and dysfunctions shows the oral health condition, along with individual's perception and attitudes regarding their condition. [3] It completely reflects the impact that a disease has on individual. [4] Self-perceived need for dental care is based on the individual's oral health condition like number of decayed, missing and filled teeth; periodontal condition; and normative treatment needs. [5] Thus, self-perceived assessment data have neither been found as useful nor successful in the assessment of individual dental health status. [6],[7]

   Subjects and Methods Top

The study was conducted in from June 1 to July 30 in the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry. Ethical clearance was taken from the board before starting the study. Before starting my main study pilot study was also conducted for 30 participants.

My main study totally consists of 542 participants. The 30 question were asked for both male and female aged from 18 and above who are willing for the study. The informed consent is also taken from the patient who had undergone the study.

Sampling method

Simple random sampling.

Study conducted

Cross-sectional study.

Inclusion criteria

  • Patients from age 18 and above were taken into consideration
  • Patients willing for the study were taken into consideration.

Exclusion criteria

  • Patient below 18 years was excluded
  • Patient who were physically challenged and mentally disabled were excluded.

   Results Top

A total of 538 people (301 males and 237 females; 18-81 years of age) agreed to participate and responded to the questionnaires. Approximate time required for the participant to fill out the questionnaires ranged from 5 to 10 min. In this study were separated into two groups (<30 years and >30 years of age).

Perception of oral hygiene

In this perception of oral hygiene, the questions mostly given to evaluate their own self-perception of oral hygiene in which totally 78.1% says their oral hygiene is good and rest 21.9% has poor oral hygiene. In which 50.6% where of <30 years people and 27.5% where from >30 years. The most commonly acquired problem in this group of people where decayed teeth (39.2%), stains in teeth where about 18.2%, gum bleeding where of found in 15.5% of people and pain in 7.6% of people. The rest of the people had combined problem. The gum bleeding (<30 years = 15.2%; >30 years = 17.5%), pain (<30 years = 20.4%; >30 years = 25.3%), bad breath (<30 years = 12.3%; >30 years = 14.9%), poor chewing ability and sensitivity where found more in > 30 years of age group whereas decayed teeth (<30 years = 28.3%; >30 years = 27.5%) is more in <30 years of age group people.

Maintenance of oral hygiene status

In the maintenance of oral hygiene status is really good in <30 years of age group when compared >30 years of age group. Frequency of brushing teeth: Once daily (<30 years = 40%; >30 years = 33.8%) and twice daily (<30 years = 17.7%; >30 years = 8.6%), use of mouth wash (<30 years = 13.9%; >30 years = 4.1%), awareness of interdental aids (<30 years = 14.3%; >30 years = 1.7%), use of interdental aids (<30 years = 7.4%; >30 years = 0.7%), decay in already filled tooth is more in > 30 years (<30 years = 6.5%; >30 years = 7.4%).

Attitude towards dentist

The people attitude toward dentist for their dental problem seems to be less <30 years when compared with >30 years of age. Since for few problems like decayed teeth (<30 years = 23.2%; >30 years = 26.2%) visited dentist; missing teeth (<30 years = 13.4%; >30 years = 23.8%); gum bleeding (<30 years = 18%; >30 years = 11.2%) visit dentist; replacement of missing teeth (<30 years = 2.8%; >30 years = 7.6%); tooth pain (<30 years = 13%; >30 years = 10.4%) visit dentist and (<30 years = 10.2%; >30 years = 14.1%) take self-medication, bad breath problem (<30 years = 15.2%; >30 years = 17.5%), restorations (<30 years = 6.7%; >30 years = 2.2%), extractions (<30 years = 15.2%; >30 years = 23%).

   Discussion Top

Self-perceived detrimental effects of tooth loss were considered high by patients at the time and after extraction. Esthetics and discomfort were mentioned as a major benefit and risk related to prosthodontics. Immediate replacement of extracted teeth was scarce and was mainly associated to anterior teeth and large edentulous spaces. Treatment demand was low, frequently due to financial restriction.

At the time of extraction self-perception of impacts ranged from 20.9% to 75.8% and a great part of patients expressed a desire for immediate reposition. The psychological effects of tooth loss and previous experiences of different degrees of edentulousness justify the extent of these frequencies. Most patients had previous tooth loss and had more than one tooth extracted. [7] found that almost half of patients (47%) expressed a desire for reposition at the time of extraction. Sociocultural characteristics and access to dental service may explain discrepancies in expressed desire for teeth reposition.

Gender and age can influence self-perception of impacts and prosthodontics need. As observed at the time and after tooth loss in the present study [8] found that women perceive greater impacts in oral health related quality of life measures than men. Likewise, intention for dental replacement was greater in older patients (>40 years) as observed at the time of extraction. [9]

An individual's perception of oral health measures the value attached to oral health and the likelihood of seeking oral care to achieve optimal oral health status. Pain and discomfort, due to toothache, were mainly perceived as the causes of impact. [10] The most common measure of utilization of dental services is the annual number of dental visits per person. [11] Studies involving the assessment of the utilization of service serve as an important tool for oral health policy decision-making. [12]

A survey on perceived oral health of adult population in a deprived district of Karachi showed that just about half of the participants perceived that they had dental problems which included aesthetic issue, pain, cavities and difficulty in chewing. [13] The reality of the situation revealed by the study was that the majority of the participants had lost many of their teeth, leaving them with only 20 teeth or less. [14] This implies that there is a gap between their perceived need and the actual need.

A previous Nigerian study has shown poor utilization of the available oral health services, [15] and most people, especially males, only access such services when in pain. Some studies have showed that men tend to visit the dentist more when they are in pain. [16],[17],[18] The reasons for nonutilization range from not knowing that there is a need for such services to unsatisfactory previous dental visit to the fear of the dentist. The poor utilization is not limited to patients alone. It has been found that oral health caregivers may actually perceive the need for dental care, but will give a relatively low priority to receiving the needed dental care. [18],[19] Since the establishment and maintenance of good general and oral health is a priority, and a key factor in enabling adults to achieve overall well-being and improved quality of life, it is important to assess how individual rate their oral health status, their perceived dental need.

   References Top

Mashoto KO, Astrøm AN, David J, Masalu JR. Dental pain, oral impacts and perceived need for dental treatment in Tanzanian school students: A cross-sectional study. Health Qual Life Outcomes 2009;7:73.  Back to cited text no. 1
Martins AM, Barreto SM, Pordeus IA. Factors associated to self perceived need of dental care among Brazilian elderly. Rev Saude Publica 2008;42:487-96.  Back to cited text no. 2
Bernabé E, Flores-Mir C. Normative and self-perceived orthodontic treatment need of a Peruvian university population. Head Face Med 2006;2:22.  Back to cited text no. 3
Factors associated to self perceived need of dental care among Brazilian elderly; Martins AM, Barreto SM, Pordeus IA; 2008;42:776.  Back to cited text no. 4
Gift HC, Atchison KA, Drury TF. Perceptions of the natural dentition in the context of multiple variables. J Dent Res 1998;77:1529-38.  Back to cited text no. 5
Kallio P, Ainamo J, Dusadeepan A. Self-assessment of gingival bleeding. Int Dent J 1990;40:231-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
Heloë LA. Comparison of dental health data obtained from questionnaires, interviews and clinical examination. Scand J Dent Res 1972;80:495-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
Trovik TA, Klock KS, Haugejorden O. Predictors of norwegian adult patients' perceived need for replacement of teeth at the time of extraction. Community Dent Health 2002;19:79-85.  Back to cited text no. 8
McGrath C, Bedi R. Severe tooth loss among UK adults - Who goes for oral rehabilitation? J Oral Rehabil 2002;29:240-4.  Back to cited text no. 9
Grath CM, Bedi R, Gilthorpe MS. Oral health related quality of life - Views of the public in the United Kingdom. Community Dent Health 2000;17:3-7.  Back to cited text no. 10
King T. Tooth brushing and utilization of dental services in Fiji (1998). Pac Health Dialog 2003;10:23-7.  Back to cited text no. 11
Manski RJ, Moeller JF, Maas WR. Dental services. An analysis of utilization over 20 years. J Am Dent Assoc 2001;132:655-64.  Back to cited text no. 12
Gilbert GH, Heft MW, Duncan RP, Ringelberg ML. Perceived need for dental care in dentate older adults. Int Dent J 1994;44:145-52.  Back to cited text no. 13
Elias AC, Sheiham A. The relationship between satisfaction with mouth and number, position and condition of teeth: Studies in Brazilian adults. J Oral Rehabil 1999;26:53-71.  Back to cited text no. 14
Tanwir F, Altamash M, Gustafsson A. Perception of oral health among adults in Karachi. Oral Health Prev Dent 2006;4:83-9.  Back to cited text no. 15
Agbelusi GA, Jeboda SO. Oral health status of 12-year-old Nigerian children. West Afr J Med 2006;25:195-8.  Back to cited text no. 16
Tubaishat RS, Darby ML, Bauman DB, Box CE. Use of miswak versus toothbrushes: Oral health beliefs and behaviours among a sample of Jordanian adults. Int J Dent Hyg 2005;3:126-36.  Back to cited text no. 17
Reisine S. A path analysis of the utilization of dental services. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1987;15:119-24.  Back to cited text no. 18
Tubert-Jeannin S, Riordan PJ, Morel-Papernot A, Roland M. Dental status and oral health quality of life in economically disadvantaged French adults. Spec Care Dentist 2004;24:264-9.  Back to cited text no. 19


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