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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 302-307

Access and dental health service utilization by children of government schools in Bangalore, India: A parent perspective

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Royal Dental College, Palakkad, Kerala, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College and Hospital, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
3 Department of General Dentistry, Leena Multispecialty Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Rajah Muthiah Dental College and Hospital, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Romshi Raina
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College and Hospital, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_9_20

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Background: Access to oral health care refers to patient's ability to utilize oral health care. The availability of oral health services is very scarce in rural India; therefore, the unmet treatment needs of rural population are very high. Aim: We aimed to determine the dental service utilization and factors affecting the same among the 6–12-year-old government schoolchildren in Bangalore South-1, Karnataka, India. Methodology: In-depth interviews regarding access, utilization of dental services, and factors affecting them were conducted with 1080 parents/guardians of 6–12-year-old government schoolchildren from Bangalore South-1 in this cross-sectional analytical study. Chi-square test and multiple logistic regression analysis were used for data analysis using SPSS version 20.0 (IBM Corp. Ltd.). Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: The most common ailment reported by parents was gum problem (17.5%). Only 7.80% of the parents visited dental facility in the past 12 months. Majority of the parents (62.1%) had access to private dental health services. The barriers to utilization of dental services majorly included financial constraints (45.19%) and parent's unawareness of the oral health-care facilities nearby (21.84%). Multiple regression analyses showed that the head of the household with middle school education and high school education (odds ratio = 1.55; 1.74) had a higher probability of having visited a dentist in the past 1 year. Conclusion: Dental service utilization rate was very low in the past 12 months. Relief from pain was the sole reason for visiting a dentist. Oral health-promoting programs and provision of government hospitals are required for increased utilization of dental services so as to improve the dental attitude, accessibility, and affordability and overcome the barriers among the parents.

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