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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 116-121

Gaps in need, demand, and effective demand for dental care utilization among residents of Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, India

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, R. V. S. Dental College, Kannampalayam, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Prosthodontics, Vishnu Dental College, Bhimavaram, India
3 Department of Prosthodontics, St. Joseph Dental College, Eluru, India
4 Department of General Dentistry, Eastman Institute of Oral Health, Rochester, New York, USA
5 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Drs. Sudha and Nageswara Rao Siddhartha Institute of Dental Sciences, Cinaoutpally, Gannavarm, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Guntipalli M Naidu
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Drs. Sudha and Nageswara Rao Siddhartha Institute of Dental Sciences, Cinaoutpally, Gannavarm, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0762.189737

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Aims: To identify the relation between need, demand, and effective demand for dental services in Andhra Pradesh, India. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study performed among populations residing in the rural and urban areas of Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Data were collected from 3102 individuals who were selected through multiphase random sampling. Data regarding self-perceived dental need, dental service utilization, and barriers for utilization were collected through s pretested questionnaire followed by type-III clinical examination to assess the normative need of the individuals. Chi-square test was used to compare independent and dependent variables, and further comparison was done with multivariate logistic regression analysis for significant variables. Results: Less than half (40%) of the participants perceived a need for dental care. Among the people who perceived need for care, only 21.4% utilized dental care and 78.6% of them had unmet dental needs. The two main reasons for not seeking dental care was lack of money, i.e., unaffordable dental treatment (48%) and having the perception that they do not have any dental problem (19.4%). Conclusions: There is an enormous difference between normative need, demand, and actual utilization rates in dental care, and hindrances for effective demand need to be addressed to improve dental care delivery system.

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