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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 395-403

Can oral health-related quality of life be worsened by dental appointments?

1 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Afolabi Oyapero
Department of Preventive Dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1735-3327.294326

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Background: Constraints in dental access and limitations associated with service delivery necessitate the use of an appointment system in patient care. This research aimed to identify association between treatment appointments and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) in dental patients at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive study that surveyed 412 individuals. Socio-demographic, clinical history, and OHRQOL data was collected using a structured interviewer administered questionnaire. Visual analog scale (VAS) was used to assess inconvenience while the oral health impact profile-14 was used for OHRQOL assessment at baseline and at review. Data entry and analysis was done using SPSS while ANOVA and Chi-square tests were used to determined significant association. P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Most (175; 45.2%) dental appointments were within a month although 59 (15.2%) individuals had to wait for more than 6 months. Using VAS, 87 (22.5%) individuals were moderately inconvenienced while 68 (17.6%) were extremely inconvenienced. At baseline, the most commonly reported oral health quality of life impacts were within the dimensions “physical pain” and “psychological discomfort.” At review, there was increase in OHRQOL scores in the subdomains of pain (2.27 ± 1.80), self-consciousness (1.67 ± 1.15), discomfort on chewing (1.61 ± 1.13), and pronouncing words (1.49 ± 2.21). The highest mean impact score (2.27 ± 1.80) was observed in the subdomain of painful aching in the mouth. Conclusion: Dental appointments appear to result in worse OHRQOL. Since the appointment systems in public oral health facilities may have a direct bearing on OHRQOL of patients, quality control standards on dental appointments should be established and enforced.

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