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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 410-413

Oral health services utilization among the rural population of western Rajasthan, India

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Vyas Dental College and Hospital, Jodhpur, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Institute of Dental Studies and Technologies, Modinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Pacific Dental College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vyas Dental College and Hospital, Jodhpur, India
5 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Hazaribag College of Dental Sciences, Hazaribag, Jharkhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Sarika Gupta
Department of Oral Medicine, Radiology and Diagnosis, Vyas Dental College and Hospital, Kudi Haud, Pali Road, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-1363.155688

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Introduction: The greatest burden of oral diseases is on the disadvantaged and socially marginalized populations. In developing countries like India, the availability and accessibility of oral health services in rural areas are limited, and the provision of oral health care is also very limited. Aims and Objectives: To assess the factors affecting the utilization of oral health services among the rural population of western Rajasthan, India. Materials and Methods: A structured self-administered questionnaire was employed as the instrument for data collection. Study was carried out for a period of 1 year in the rural areas of western Rajasthan, India. A total of 5476 people were selected. The questionnaire was explained to all the participants before the distribution, and the participants returned questionnaires after it was completed. Results: Among the total study group of 5476 subjects, 3934 were males and 1542 females. The study group was divided into five equal age groups from 20 to 60 years and above. It was found that 31.57% were illiterate and only 1.53% were graduates. One thousand, four hundred and thirty-six participants (26.22%) stated that cost of dental treatment was the major factor, followed by 1386 (25.31%) who believed in myths associated with dental treatment. Conclusion: Utilization of oral health services among the rural population has been found to be influenced by socio-demographic factors. Improving access to oral health care is a critical and very important first step to improving oral health outcomes and reducing disparities.

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