Social and economic factors affecting tooth loss – Gender, age & education

Although this article is from a study by Nigerians, I hope you will find the information interesting and the conclusions surprisingly relevant to patients seen in dental practices in this country.

The study authors, Temitope Ayodeji Esan, Adeyemi Oluniyi Olusile, Patricia Adetokunbo Akeredolu and Ayodeji Omobolanle Esan are well-known and respected teachers and researchers.


Distribution by gender

A study of social and economic factors affecting edentulism in Nigeria found no statistically significant age and gender differences between the populations from the two centres.


Denture demand by age and centre/clinic

There was a highly significant difference in the educational status of patients seen at Lagos University Teaching Hospitals and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex with patients seen at LUTH being of higher educational levels than patients seen at OAUTHC.


Distribution of patients according to educational level

In terms of socioeconomic status, 28 (18.42%) patients belonged to class I; 43(28.29%) patients belonged to class II while 81(53.29%) belonged to class III. There was no statistically significant difference in the socio-economic status of patients from the two centres.


Socio-economic status distribution

In both centres, 134 patients (88.2%) received removable partial dentures, 13 patients (8.6%) received complete dentures while 5 patients (3.3%) received either upper or lower complete dentures.

There was no significant difference in the demand for different types of dentures between the study locations.

However, there was a significantly higher demand for removable partial dentures than any other type of prostheses.

It was also observed that as the age increased, the proportions demanding for complete dentures also increased.

In addition, those in the 21–40 age group demanded more removable partial denture than any other age groups. While those older than 61 asked for removable complete dentures more than for removable partial dentures.


Types of prostheses demanded by centres

The lower educational groups demand was more for complete dentures, while those with a higher level of education asked more for removable partial dentures. Moreover, those with tertiary level of education constituted the majority of the study population.

Demand for dentures according to educational level: Among the patients that were completely edentulous, there was no significant difference in the demand for complete dentures between those with lower educational status and those with higher educational status.

It was noted that the lower the socio-economic status the higher the demand for dentures. This picture was independent of rural or urban dwelling. However, 28.3% of those in Class II who needed dentures asked for a complete set as opposed to 3.6% in Class I and 8.6% of those in Class III.

In the subsequent articles I’ll present the authors’ Discussion.

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