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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 283-286

Comparison of normative and self-perceived dental needs among adolescents in Lagos, Nigeria

Department of Preventive Dentistry, College of Medicine of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
E A Akaji
Department of Preventive Dentistry, College of Medicine of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Professionally determined needs as well as self-perceived oral health needs play significant roles in the assessment of needs for dental care. The aim of this study was to compare the self-perceived oral health needs by the adolescents with professionally determined needs by the oral health-care giver. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This was a community-based cross-sectional study involving 504 adolescents who were selected through multistage random sampling from secondary schools in Lagos State. Self-assessed oral health needs was measured by the participants' response to the question(s): How can you describe the condition of your teeth/gum? Their response was compared to the findings of an intra-oral examination of the participants (after an informed consent) carried out under field conditions by one examiner employing DMFT and CPITN indices for Dental Caries and Periodontal status respectively. RESULTS: The prevalence of Dental Caries was 11.9% while that of Periodontal disease was 60.4%. The Sensitivity, Specificity, Positive and Negative Predictive Values for Dental Caries were 30%, 85%, 21.4% and 89.9% respectively; and 21.7%, 80.9%, 63.4%, and 32.9% respectively for Periodontal status. CONCLUSION: Self-perceived oral health needs assessed by questionnaire among adolescents was found to be at variance with the clinically determined needs. Promotion of oral health awareness among adolescents with emphasis on recognition of signs and symptoms of common dental diseases using the school as a base is strongly advised.

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