Pattern of oral health needs: biological consequences and policy issues

  • IU Madukwe


Background: Oral health demands are expressed as needs in Oral Diagnosis and Radiology Departments in tertiary hospitals in line with Bradshaw’s taxonomy of needs. Various definitions of need exist. The most often quoted definition is the taxonomy of Bradshaw that has four categories, normative need (as defined by professionals), felt need (quoted by patients), expressed need or demand (felt need is converted into action by seeking care) and comparative need (which is assessed by comparing care received by different people with similar characteristics).
Material and Methods: The study group consists of 39,487 patients who were seen for the first time in Department of Oral Diagnosis and Radiology, University of Benin, Nigeria, during a period of 10 years.
Result: Normative oral health need from 39,487 patients was 46,497. This was due to overlaps of need in one patient. Patient may have both caries and periodontal disease or caries and infection. Infection was most dominant (47.20%), followed by caries (21.75%).
Conclusion: We conclude that a change in oral health need perception can come by change in policy maker’s perception and therefore enhance the need to develop sustainable strategies for national preventive and therapeutic oral health services in Nigeria.

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eISSN: 1596-6569