Purpose: Psychosocial impacts on quality of life among adolescents with access to affordable dental care is not well documented. In addition, dental pain is accelerating towards a public health problem that needs immediate attention. The objective was to determine impacts on quality of life using the Oral Impacts on Daily Performances (OIDP) frequency scale and to determine prevalence of dental pain with its impact.
Methods: A total of 288 students (mean age 15.72 ± 1.5) completed the survey instrument (sociodemographic variables, consumption of chocolates/candies, perceived need for dental care, history of dental pain in last 6 months and OIDP frequency scale) designed to measure subjective oral health indicators. Mean OIDP simple count scores were analysed using logistic regression and additive (ADD) scores for dental pain were compared using student's t test.
Results: The response rate was 96%. About 44.4% reported impacts affecting daily performances. About 11.4% consumed tobacco and 92.7% consumed forms of refined sugars. About 39% perceived a need for dental care and 32.3% experienced dental pain with problem in eating and cleaning teeth. Those not perceiving a need for dental care were more likely to have an impact (OR: 2.3; CI: 1.2-4.4). Males had higher OIDP ADD scores for dental pain than females (p = 0.015).
Conclusion: Overall impact was less than 50%. Dental pain was reported among students with access to dental care with impacts on eating and cleaning of teeth. Oral health promotion needs to be reinforced by strengthening school community relationship.
Keywords: adolescent; child; dental care; dental pain; quality of life; school health services.