Predictors of dental care utilization in school children in Al-Madinah, Saudi Arabia

Amal Aqeeli, Alla Alsharif, Estie Kruger, Marc Tennant

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Aim: To explore the factors influencing dental care utilization including sociodemographic characteristics and oral health need in 9-12-year-old school children in Al-Madinah, Saudi Arabia (SA). Methods: A stratified random sample was applied to select 10 schools in Al Madinah, SA and a total of 1000 students aged 9-12 years were included in the study. Information on sociodemographic factors, dental care utilization and oral health related quality of life were recorded using the World Health Organization (WHO) questionnaire. A multiple logistic regression model was used. Results: Almost a quarter of all participants (23.8%), have never received dental care before. Pain or trouble with teeth was the most common reason for visiting the dentist (49.4%). The percentages of both missing school, and difficulty in eating due to oral health problems, were significantly higher among those who received dental care. Children from low-income families had a reduced likelihood of receiving dental care (OR=0.571, P=0.014). Children who have caries and who reported having toothache in the past 12 months were more likely to visit the dentist (OR=1.599, P=0.028) & (OR=2.188, P>0.001). Conclusion: Dental care utilization is mainly driven by symptomatic dental care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2789-2797
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Science
Issue number117
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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