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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 62-66

Utilization of dental services among civil servants in Port Harcourt, Nigeria


1 Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
2 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Elfleda Angelina Aikins
Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2348-2915.161202

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Background: Civil servants are adults that cut across all ages, educational status, and social class. This study describes and compares dental service utilization among federal and state civil servants in Port Harcourt and identifies the determinants and barriers to the utilization of dental services among these groups. Materials and Methods: This study was a comparative cross-sectional study carried out among Federal and State civil servants in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. The study units were selected using multistage sampling technique. Data were collected using pretested self-administered questionnaires and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20.0. Results: A total of 638 participants comprising of 313 and 325 civil servants from the federal and state civil service respectively, completed and returned the questionnaires.Only 143 (22.4%) of the participants had visited the dentist in the past 1-year, this is made up of 80 (25.6%) federal and 63 (19.4%) state civil servants. Most of the federal workers 55 (68.8%) and state workers 45 (71.4%) had visited the dentist based on need. Participants with tertiary education were significantly more likely to utilize dental services (P = 0.009). The reasons for nonutilization of dental services reported among the respondents were no need for treatment 59%, cost of treatment 20%, being scared 13.5%, and fear of infection 10.3%. Conclusion: Dental visits were based on the need for treatment. Whereas education was a determinant of dental service utilization, perceived lack of treatment and cost of treatment constituted barriers to utilization of dental services.


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