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East and Central African Journal of Surgery

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Dental Radiographs Ordered by Dental Professionals: an Experience from a Resource Limited Tertiary Public Health Facility Setting at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania

KS Sohal, SS Owibingire

Abstract


Background: Radiographs remain fundamental tool in diagnosis of dental diseases, their availability and social-economic status of the patient dictates the choice made by professionals. This study was done to determine the indications and types of dental radiographs ordered by dental professionals in a resource limited setting.
Methods: This was a cross sectional study involving 520 patients who underwent dental radiographic investigation. Patients were examined and interviewed. Type of radiographs taken and indications were recorded.
Results: Out of 520 patients, 189 were male, and the mean age of the participants was 31.7 +/- 13.9 years. Most of the patients were aged 20-49 years. The frequent indication was dental caries followed by periapical infection and impacted teeth. Periapical X-rays were taken for 748 teeth of which majority were upper central incisors followed by mandibular molars.
Conclusions: Even in resource limited settings dental caries is still the regular indication for taking dental radiographs, and periapical views are the most frequent type of radiograph ordered. Maxillary central incisors and mandibular molars were types of teeth commonly x-rayed mainly due to the aesthetic
importance of the former and the preponderance of dental caries in the later group of teeth.



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