Background: Community-oriented oral health programs are seldom found in India. When primary health care systems were in the 1980s, dentistry was not adequately included. This has left oral health far behind other health services. Objectives: To find the availability of dental professionals, infrastructure, equipment, and treatments provided in health centers of Mangalore taluk. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among medical officers and dentists working in all the health centers of Mangalore taluk, using an interview schedule, the oral health care availability inventory (ORAI). Results: Among 23 health centers of Mangalore taluk, dental services were available at six health centers (26%) [two community health centers (CHCs) and four primary health centers (PHCs)]. Mouth mirrors, dental explorers, and extraction instruments were available at six health centers [two CHCs (100%) and four PHCs (19%)]. No health centers provided orthodontic tooth corrections, removal of impacted teeth, oral biopsies, and fabrication of removable dentures. Conclusions: Availability of dental services was limited in the health centers, and a vast majority of the rural population in Mangalore taluk did not have access to dental care.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health