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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 58-62

Perceived and normative needs, utilization of oral healthcare services, and barriers to utilization of dental care services at peripheral medical centre: Poonjeri, Mamallapuram, India

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Asan Memorial Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Chettinad Dental College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Prabhu Subramani
No. 1, Big Street, Tirukazhukundram, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdrr.jdrr_60_17

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Introduction: Dental care utilization is limited, and teeth are often left untreated or extracted in India. Several barriers exist for the utilization of dental services. The present study was undertaken to assess the oral healthcare needs, utilization pattern of oral healthcare services, and barriers to utilization of oral healthcare services among the outpatients of Peripheral Medical Centre, Poonjeri, Mamallapuram, India. Materials and Methods: Simple random sampling was conducted among outpatients and their attenders reporting to the health centre; demographic profile of the patients were recorded followed by interviewer-administered questionnaire for recording the self-perceived dental needs and barriers in utilizing dental care services followed by Type II clinical examination to assess normative dental treatment needs. Results: N =282 study participants participated in the present study; majority of the study participants were from upper lower class and lower middle class. Among the study subjects n = 124 (44%) have not accessed any dentist, n = 112 (39.7%) had visited dentist for toothache. Common reason cited as Self – perceived barriers for dental care are n = 184 (65.2%) – 'Unaware of the dental problems' and n = 118 (41.8%) 'Fear of dental treatment'. Logistic regression showed that significant difference was seen in gender, socioeconomic status, and barriers to dental care (P < 0.05) in influencing the utilization pattern of dental care. Conclusion: Perceived and normative dental needs were high among the study population due to problem-oriented care, and it is influenced by various barriers such as unawareness of dental problems, fear, cost, accessibility, and time.

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