The effect of dental facilities on the processes of tooth loss between urban and rural populations in Edo State, Nigeria
Objectives: The objective of this study was to ascertain the effect of the presence of dental facilities on the various processes of tooth loss in the study population and if there were differences between urban and rural subjects.
Methods: A total of 2,161 subjects were examined, comprising 769 from one urban area and 1392 from three rural areas of the State. Examinations were conducted with the use of a wooden spatula and the Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Need probe.
Results: The predominant process of permanent tooth loss in the entire study population was by extraction, followed by trauma and exfoliation. However, there was a statistical significant difference between the urban and rural subjects of the state. While the predominant process of tooth loss in urban subjects was by extraction but it varied from extraction through trauma to exfoliation amongst rural subjects.
Discussion: The predominant tooth loss in the urban subjects could be attributed to the presence and access to dental facilities located in the urban area of this study. Here extraction was the most common procedure carried out due to its low cost, relative to restoration or endodontics. This was the result of the poor state of the economy and the high prevalence of caries. The process of tooth loss by exfoliation, which was predominant in the rural subjects, is the result of periodontal ligament destruction and alveolar bone resorption. This could be attributed to a higher prevalence of periodontal disease and the non-existence of dental facilities and personnel where extraction could have been done without the long await for self-exofoliation.
Conclusion: This study has shown that the presence or absence of dental facilities and personnel are contributory factors to the different patterns of tooth loss in urban and rural populace.
Keywords: dental facilities, tooth loss, urban and rural population