Epidemiological profile of patients utilizing dental public health services in the eThekwini and uMgungundlovu districts of KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa
INTRODUCTION: Oral conditions such as dental caries, periodontal diseases, tooth loss and trauma affect millions of people globally. These conditions can be prevented when detected early, thereby avoiding adverse outcomes. The prevalence of oral conditions has been reported in most provinces. However, there is a paucity of data in KwaZulu-Natal. AIM AND OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of oral conditions at public health facilities in two health districts in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional analytical study design was used to determine the nature of oral conditions treated in dental facilities in the eThekwini and uMgungundlovu districts, in KwaZulu-Natal. The study was conducted over a 5-month period (November 2018 - April 2019). After clinicians examined the patients they entered the data in the patients clinical records and selected information (routine medical history questions as well as 16 possible diagnosis codes) were entered into a data extraction template. The data were analyzed using statistical software SPSS. RESULTS: Dental caries was the most prevalent oral condition at 66.4% followed by periodontal disease at 11.7%, trauma at 7.3% and lastly tooth loss at 5.9% CONCLUSION: These findings contribute to knowledge on the prevalence of these oral conditions found in the province.
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