Introduction: For effective formulation of oral health policies it is important to understand the magnitude of oral health/diseases in a community keeping in mind various factors that influence utilization of dental services. Objective: To estimate geographic distribution of dental problems and factors affecting utilization of dental services from secondary data of patients visiting a private dental institute in Kasaragod District, North Kerala. Methods: Data from 2498 patients was extracted and categorized according to age, gender, chief complaints, delay (time gap) in utilization of dental services and area of residence. Distance from area of residences and to the dental institute was calculated for individual patients categorized according to gram panchayats, block panchayats and municipalities. The distance was mapped according to block panchayat. The data was analyzed using chi-square test for age group, gender and time taken to utilize dental services. Results: Majority of patients belonged to age group of 21 – 30 years and males were more than females. Dental caries was common dental problem followed by dental pain in all block panchayats and municipalities. Patients reported from distances as far as 50 km. There was a significantly higher utilization of dental services by males in all age groups except females in the age group of 31 – 50 years (P = 0.001) and only 13.7 percent utilized dental services within one week of dental problem with more males than females (P = 0.04) Conclusion: Males utilized dental services more than females and majority were in age group of 21 – 30 years. About 85.5 percent of patients reported from within a radius of 30 km. Data from private sectors can be used to describe the dispersion of dental problems in a community, thereby providing more comprehensive view of magnitude of dental problems.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
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