Can oral health‑related quality of life be worsened by dental appointments?

Afolabi Oyapero, Augustine I. Edomwonyi, Abiola Adetokunbo Adeniyi, Olubukola Olamide Olatosi


Background: Constraints in dental access and limitations associated with service delivery
necessitate the use of an appointment system in patient care. This research aimed to identify
association between treatment appointments and oral health‑related quality of life (OHRQOL) in
dental patients at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive study that surveyed 412 individuals.
Socio‑demographic, clinical history, and OHRQOL data was collected using a structured interviewer
administered questionnaire. Visual analog scale (VAS) was used to assess inconvenience while the
oral health impact profile‑14 was used for OHRQOL assessment at baseline and at review. Data
entry and analysis was done using SPSS while ANOVA and Chi‑square tests were used to determined
significant association. P < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Most (175; 45.2%) dental appointments were within a month although 59 (15.2%)
individuals had to wait for more than 6 months. Using VAS, 87 (22.5%) individuals were moderately
inconvenienced while 68 (17.6%) were extremely inconvenienced. At baseline, the most commonly
reported oral health quality of life impacts were within the dimensions “physical pain” and
“psychological discomfort.” At review, there was increase in OHRQOL scores in the subdomains
of pain (2.27 ± 1.80), self‑consciousness (1.67 ± 1.15), discomfort on chewing (1.61 ± 1.13), and
pronouncing words (1.49 ± 2.21). The highest mean impact score (2.27 ± 1.80) was observed in
the subdomain of painful aching in the mouth.
Conclusion: Dental appointments appear to result in worse OHRQOL. Since the appointment
systems in public oral health facilities may have a direct bearing on OHRQOL of patients, quality
control standards on dental appointments should be established and enforced.


Dental appointment, oral health‑related quality of life, oral health

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