Periodontal treatment need, interdental cleaning habit and dental services utilization of a Nigerian population.


  • Modupeoluwa O. SOROYE Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
  • Elizabeth B. DOSUMU Department of Periodontology and Community Dentistry Faculty of Dentistry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan


Objective: Optimal home-use plaque-control measure
maintains a functional dentition and reduces the risk of
loss of periodontal attachment throughout life. The
combination of toothbrushing and inter-proximal oral
hygiene devices optimally prevents plaque
accumulation. Individual’s attitude, lack of awareness
and affordability are barriers for the utilization of dental
services. This study evaluated the interdental cleaning
habits; periodontal treatment needs and dental service
utilization of a Nigerian population.
Methods: Self-administered questionnaires were used
to obtain information on socio-demographics, use of
interdental cleaning aid and health services utilization of
participants. A full-mouth examination was done to
assess the periodontal status and the treatment needs
of the participants using the CPITN probe. Data was
analyzed using Epi info 2008 version 3.5.1
Result: Only 24.4% of the participants who claimed to
clean interdentally actually used dental floss and
interdental brushes) while majority of them
({160(71.2%)} used toothpicks. Three out of five
participants {49(59%)} who do not clean interdentally,
didn’t know that they had to do so. Though 284(92.2%)
of the participants do not routinely access oral care,
almost half (49.7%) had previous dental check-ups,
scaling and polishing, tooth extractions and
restorations. 44(14.3%) did not need periodontal
treatment, 131(42.5%) needed Oral Hygiene Instruction
(OHI) and Scaling and Polishing (S&P) and 19(6.2%)
needed OHI, S&P and sub-gingival scaling.
Conclusion: Dental services utilization was low until
they perceived that they have a dental ailment,
appropriate interdental aids were not used and
knowledge on the need for interdental cleaning and
advance periodontal treatment need of the participants
were low.