Perceived oral health status and treatment needs of dental auxiliaries

Original article


Clement C. Azodo 1, Adebola O. Ehizele 1, Agnes Umoh2, Patrick I. Ojehanon 2, Osagie Akhionbare 2, Robinson Okechukwu 3, Lawrence Igbinosa 1

1-Department of Periodontics, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin, Nigeria; 2-Department of Periodontics, University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria; 3-Federal School of Dental Therapy and Dental Technology, Enugu, Nigeria

Libyan J Med 2010, 5: 4859 – DOI: 10.3402/ljm.v5i0.4859


Objective: To determine the perceived oral health status and treatment needs of Nigerian dental therapists in training and dental technology students. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study of 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