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One of the control tools for periodontal disease besides individual home care is professional oral prophylaxis that is, Scaling and Polishing (S&P).The aim of this study is to assess the effect of oral health awareness on the demand and uptake of scaling and polishing among dwellers of rural and urban environments.
This interventional study was conducted in Enugu, Nigeria. A questionnaire was used to obtain data on demographic details, presenting complaints and requests, and prior dental visits from consenting attendees in 4 community outreaches. The number of those demanding for scaling of teeth at point of presentation was extracted from their requests. Oral health talk was then given as the intervention for the study. Periodontal assessment was done using Community Periodontal index (CPI) and participants who received scaling thereafter were recorded. Data were analyzed with SPSS [version 20] employing Chi square to compare categorical variables and p was significant at ≤0.05. Multiple regression analysis of factors affecting oral health awareness was done and outcome of intervention was determined by percentage difference in number of participants demanding and receiving S&P.
A total of 454 participants enlisted for the study. The outreaches served as first point of contact with dental professionals for 383 (84.4%) participants. 60 (80%) and 15 (20%) participants demanded for scaling in the urban and rural locations respectively (p = 0.00). Out of 78 with CPI 3 score, only 8 (10.3%) demanded for S&P but uptake was by 73 (93.6%) [p = 0.00]. Outcome of oral health intervention was 80.6% difference among those with periodontitis. Multiple regression analysis of factors showed that participants’ locations, that is, rural or urban, was the only factor that significantly affected oral health awareness (C.I = 0.183–0.375, p = 0.000).
Demand for scaling was sub-optimal but the uptake was satisfactory. Rural or urban location of the participants significantly influenced their oral health awareness. The keenness to take up scaling suggests benefits accruing from the oral health education. Appropriate health policies and planning could help bridge the gap between rural and urban areas and strengthen gains from this study.