Prevalence of artificially created maxillary midline diastema and its complications in a selected nigerian population
Background: Maxillary midline diastema (MMD) is generally regarded as a symbol of beauty in Nigeria. The desperation to look beautiful has caused many individuals to seek the creation of artificial midline diastema and that comes often with undesirable side effects.
Aim: To determine the prevalence of artificially created maxillary midline diastema (MMD) and its complications in a selected Nigerian population.
Method: A cross-sectional study using a semi-structured questionnaire as the instrument for data collection was done among patients attending a private clinic in Owerri the capital of Imo state in Nigeria over a period of 18 months. The data were retrieved from the questionnaires and analyzed using the SPSS version 20.
Results: There were 141 respondents comprising 58(41.1%) males and 83(58.9%) females, giving a male to female ratio of 1:1.4. The prevalence of artificially created MMD was 34.0% with increased frequency in: the 21-30 years age group; among the females and in respondents with tertiary level of education. Majority of the respondents (69.5%) desire MMD and 20.8% of those without it wanted it created through cosmetic dentistry. Twenty of the 48 respondents with artificial MMD had it done to enhance personal beauty and aesthetics. The commonest complication was tooth sensitivity (44.8%), followed by toothache (41.4%).
Conclusion: The prevalence of artificially created MMD was 34.0% in this study; and it is commoner in females and younger age group .The commonest complication was tooth sensitivity. Enhancement of personal beauty and aesthetic was the major reason for having it done.
Keywords: Artificially created, Maxillary Midline Diastema, Complications