Perceived oral health status and treatment needs of dental auxiliaries
Objective: To determine the perceived oral health status and treatment needs of Nigerian dental therapists in students from Federal School of Dental Therapy and Technology Enugu, Nigeria was conducted using self-administered questionnaire to obtain information on demography, self-reported oral health status, knowledge of impact of oral health on daily life activity, dental attendance and perceived dental need. Results: The perception of oral health status and treatment need of the two groups of dental auxiliaries was the same. Fewer respondents (27.3%) rated their oral health as excellent, while 50.4% rated their oral health as good. Majority (95.5%) agreed that oral health is a part of general health and 94.6% agreed that oral health has a role in daily life. Out of 81.4% that had previous dental treatment, scaling and polishing accounted for 66.1%. Presently, 48.8% think they need dental treatment ranging from scaling and polishing (33.9%), tooth restoration (10.3%), to extraction (1.2%). Conclusion: This survey revealed that most of the students are aware that oral health is a component of general health and that it has an impact on an individual’s daily life. More than half of the students perceived their oral health as good, but only a few knew that there is a need for a preventive approach to oral health as evident by the percentage that perceived scaling and polishing as a treatment need.
Keywords: oral health; status; dental auxiliaries