Main Article Content
Objective: To examine the oral health awareness and care seeking behaviours among public and private dental clinics attendees
Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out among patients attending public and private dental clinics in Benin City. A pre-tested questionnaire which elicited information on demographic characteristics, oral health awareness, pattern of dental attendance, treatment pattern, duration of dental problem and reason for delayed presentation was data collection tool. Data collected were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 20 and test for significance was done using chi-square statistics or Fisher’s exact test.
Results: Less than half (44.16%) of both public and private dental clinic respondents lacked knowledge or held erroneous knowledge about the cause of tooth problem. The majority (88.89%) of the both public and private dental clinic respondents knew who a dentist is. About one tenth (13.12%) of the respondents described as dentist as doctor that extracts teeth and this was higher among public (16.67%) than private (8.70%) dental clinic respondents. More than half (59.28%) of the respondents had visited the dentist with 54.31% being from public dental clinic and two-thirds (66.67%) being from private dental clinic. More than half (55.37%) of the respondents had extraction in the past with more being from the public (54.31%) than private (50.88%) dental clinic. Reasons for present dental attendance was majorly pain (49.11%) with more from public (57.89%) than private (37.64%) dental clinic. A total of 41.38% of the respondents delayed presentation to clinic for over a year with more from the public (42.31%) than the private (38.89%) dental clinic. The major reason for delayed presentation was personal treatment and observation which constituted 55.34% which was not different between public and private dental clinic respondents.
Conclusion: Oral health awareness was suboptimal, symptomatic dental attendance and delayed presentations were seen among public and private dental clinics attendees