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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 201-205

Utilization pattern of dental care and dental caries prevalence among children aged 12- and 15-year in Himachal Pradesh, India

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Himachal Institute of Dental Sciences, Paonta Sahib, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sumeet Bhatt
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Himachal Institute of Dental Sciences, Paonta Sahib, Sirmour - 173 025, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_218_20

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Background: Regular dental visits are associated with better oral health outcomes in children. In India, data on the utilization of dental services among children are insufficient. Aim: The aim of this study was to find the prevalence of dental services use among 12- and 15-year-old school children and to assess if there is an association between utilization pattern and dental caries prevalence. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among ten randomly selected government senior secondary schools in Paonta Sahib Education Block. A total of 1120 children aged 12- and 15-year were included in the study. The children were examined for the presence of untreated dental caries as per the guidelines of the World Health Organization. The information on dental visiting pattern was obtained from the parents using a structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square test were used to analyze the data. Results: The prevalence of dental service use in this sample was 13%. Most of the visits were because of pain/tooth removal. “No dental problem” was cited as the main reason for never having visited the dentist. Overall dental caries prevalence was 52.5%. The prevalence of dental caries was higher in those who had visited the dentist before (P < 0.001). Conclusions: A very low dental service use was observed among 12- and 15-year old children in this study. The visits were mainly for pain alleviation rather than prevention of oral health. Lack of perceived need was the major barrier for accessing dental care.

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