Dental Service Perception and Utilization in a Tertiary Hospital
Keywords:perception, oral health utilization
Objective: To determine the perception and utilization of dental services among staff of a tertiary hospital.
Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study conducted among staff of the University of Benin Teaching
Hospital, Benin City. Data was collected with the use of a self-administered questionnaire to elicit
information such as socio-demographic, perception and usage of dental services as well as reasons for nonregular
usage of dental services. Chi-squared test was used to test associations between variables at 5% level
Results: Data from three hundred and eight six (386) participants were recorded and analyzed. Those
within the 21–30years age group were in the majority (38.3%), females constituted 54.6% and with majority
of the respondents (70%) with tertiary level educational as well those in non-clinical departments
(69.7%).The overall perception revealed that 34.0% have high perception for dental services with only 4.7%
having good dental services utilization. Binary logistic regression of perception revealed that, those aged 41-
50 are less likely with odds of 0.105, (P <0.001), educational level below tertiary are less likely to have high
perception with P < 0.05. On utilization, those aged 41-50,educational level below tertiary are less likely, P <
0.05, while those in the non-clinical department are more likely to utilize dental services with odds' 3.036
Sixty one percent had visited the dentist with 33% of such visits due of tooth pain. Lack of time, absence of
symptoms, complex hospital routine and fear or anxiety for dental procedures accounted for most reasons
for non- regular utilization of dental services.
Conclusion: Bivariate logistic regression revealed that older age and higher educational levels are
predictors of perception; and that older age, educational levels and type of department were predictors of
dental service utilization and they were statistically significant P<0.05.