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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 207-213

Oral health status and treatment needs of internally displaced persons

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

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kehinde Adesola Umeizudike
Department of Preventive Dentistry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Idi-Araba, Lagos
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DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_19_18

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Background: Internally displaced persons (IDPs) from North Eastern Nigeria have limited access to dental health facilities. Information on their oral health problems is limited. There is a need to determine their oral health status and treatment needs. Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess the oral health status and treatment needs of persons in an IDP camp and provide needed oral health services. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study among adults and their children in an IDP camp in Lagos. Pro forma with sections on biodata, oral hygiene practice and status, and periodontal parameter was used. Descriptive statistics were used in data analysis, with P < 0.05 considered statistically significant. Results: One hundred and twenty-three individuals (67 adults and 56 children) were seen. Mean age was 16.7 ± 12.8 years, adults were 28 ± 4.9 years, and children were 3.8 ± 3.1 years. Females represented 61%. Most (68.7%) adults had secondary school education, while most children (73.2%) had not commenced formal education. Fewer (41.7%) brushed twice daily. Only 8.5% had visited the dentist. Overall caries prevalence was 20.3%, and mean Decayed, Missing, and Filled Teeth (DMFT) was 0.7 ± 1.7, while the mean dmft for children with primary teeth was 0.3 ± 1.0. Mean DMFT was significantly associated with the past dental visits (P = 0.003) and presence of at least one oral condition (P = 0.000). The restorative index was zero, while unmet treatment need was 76.7%. Low dental treatment index was 30.6%. Of the 30.1% with toothache, only 16.2% sought treatment in the hospital. Sixty-three respondents received dental treatment in the form of scaling and polishing, fluoride therapy, atraumatic restorative treatment and extractions. Conclusion: The IDPs had a caries prevalence of 20.3% and a DMFT of 0.7 which were relatively low. However, their unmet treatment needs were high, coupled with a zero-restorative index. The IDPs benefited from free oral health-care services.

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