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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 451-455

Utilization of dental health-care services and its barriers among the patients visiting community health centers in Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh: A cross-sectional, questionnaire study

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Narayana Dental College and Hospital, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
P Nagarjuna
Post Graduate, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Narayana Dental College and Hospital, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2319-5932.195844

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Introduction: The primary health centers and community health centers (CHCs) offer an opportunity for early diagnosis and treatment, dental health education, and institution of preventive measures in the remote areas. Aim: To assess the level of utilization of dental health care services and to determine barriers that prevent utilization of dental health-care services among the patients visiting CHCs in Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 600 patients aged 20 years and above visiting the randomly selected 10 CHCs during May 2015 in Nellore District. A multistage sampling method was followed. The source of data was primary in nature and it was obtained through self-administered questionnaire. Data was entered and analyzed using a software program IBM SPSS Statistics version 22 (Armonk, NY: IBM Corp) (P < 0.05). Results: Only 36% of patients had visited the dentist in the last 12 months. Males (54%) visited dentist more frequently than females (46%). The most common reported reasons for the last dental visit were pain or a dental emergency (71%), followed by restorative treatment (17%) and other reasons (12%). The most commonly reported reasons for not seeking dental care were “Not needed unless having pain” by 360 (60%), “I do not think dental diseases are very serious” by 304 (51%), “I have fear of dental procedures” by 290 (48.6%),“Lack of time” by 235 (45.6%), “Dental treatment is expensive” by 200 (33.3%), and “The dentist is at a long distance” by 158 (26.8%). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that only a small portion of population visited a dentist in previous year. Most of them believe that visiting dentist is necessary only for pain relief.

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