A Retrospective Study on Reasons for Seeking Treatment for Dental Caries and the Associated Factors
Oral diseases are among the most prevalent diseases globally and have serious health and economic burdens, greatly reducing the quality of life. The most prevalent and consequential oral diseases globally are dental caries and periodontal disease. Dentistry is perceived to be a useful service only when necessary. People often delay visiting a dentist until they have an acute dental problem. However, there are several advantages of seeking oral care at early stages of oral diseases. First the treatment can be undertaken before the disease process has caused much damage to the oral structures, thus improving the success rate of the treatment. Secondly, the treatment thus rendered would be less expensive because treating early oral lesions is cheaper in terms of shorter treatment time and less material used for the treatment compared to treating advanced lesions. Thirdly, early oral lesions cause less or no pain at all. Therefore the impact of oral disease to the quality of life and to the economic activities of an individual is minimized. Dental caries is one of the most common preventable diseases which is recognized as the primary cause of oral pain and tooth loss. It is a major public health oral disease which hinders the achievement and maintenance of oral health in all age groups . The available literature revealed the scarcity of studies on dental treatment seeking behaviour of people. Hence, the present study was conducted with an objective of finding out the reason for seeking treatment for dental carious lesions and the associated factors like Age, Gender. This retrospective study was carried out at Saveetha dental college. A total of 1818 patient records were screened and data like age, gender, chief complaints were collected and tabulated in excel sheets. Chi square test was done to check the association between these factors. Out of 1818 cases, 36% cases had reported for pain, 5% reported for spots, 0.6% reported for dislodged old restoration, 11% for general dental check up. Within the limitation of the study, most of the cases reported for pain and sensitivity followed by discoloration (spots) on teeth and fractured teeth.