Abstract

Objective: To determine the need, demand, association between missing and replaced tooth older population in a rural setting


Methods: Pretested structured questionnaire were administered seeking dental needs and demand. Likert scale ranging from 0 - 4 additive index was used to score intensity of symptoms (12 items). This individual score was aggregated to give a maximum score of 48. Descriptive statistics was calculated, categorical variables were presented as frequencies and percentages.  Chi-square test and student T test was used to determine statistically significant differences.


Results: The study participants were 393 with a mean age of 67.29 ± 7.19 years.   The DMFT index was 2.74 ± 5.34 {Decayed (19.6%) teeth mean -0.40 ± 1.06)-, Missing (58.1%, mean -2.35± 4.28), No filled teeth}. Only 1.3% were edentulous and 33.3% had Kennedy class III. Mean index of felt need was 12.95 ± 4.5 and 30.4% of those with mild felt needs demanded dental care (p=0.003).  Only 33.6% of population demanded for dental care, 42.5% had dental pain or discomfort in the past 12 months and 88.5% of this population visited the dentist (p <0.001). Mild felt needs (p =0.001), affordability (p <0.001) and socioeconomic status (p=0.023) were factors that influenced demand. The average missing teeth (2.35 ± 4.28) was higher than average replaced teeth (0.39 ± 1.09) (p<0.0001).


Conclusion: The average felt need was mild and the demand for oral care was low. Average number of replaced teeth was significantly lower than average number of missing teeth.