Chief complaints of dental patients presenting at a secondary healthcare facility in Southern Nigeria: a five-year retrospective study.

Osadolor AJ1*, Ekariama A1, Oyibo AI1, Osadolor OO2, Omorodion GI3
1Department of Dentistry, Central Hospital Oleh, Delta State, Nigeria.
2Department of Child Dental Health, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria.
3Dental Centre, Central Hospital Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
*Correspondence: Dr. Osadolor AJ; +234 701 391 9301;

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Background: Oral health is an invaluable tool in the attainment of good general health.  A chief complaint during history taking can play a role in treatment planning. Clinical, research and administrative objectives of dental practices rely on the presence of an easily identifiable and clear chief complaint.
Objective: To determine the chief complaint of dental patients presenting at a secondary healthcare facility in Southern-Nigeria.
Materials and Method:  A 5-year retrospective study was conducted at the dental department, Central Hospital, Oleh, Delta State. Variables of interest which included age, gender, occupation, religion, chief complaint, chief diagnosis and return visit were collected from the case records. The obtained data were subjected to descriptive statistics in the form of frequencies, cross-tabulations, and percentages using IBM® SPSS® Statistics version 25 software.
Results: A total of 857 cases (477 (55.7%) females and 380 (44.3%) males) containing the variables of interest were retrieved from the hospital records. The age of the patients was from 0 – 103 years with a mean age of 39.00 years. Toothache and apical periodontitis were the most common chief complaint (61.6%) and diagnosis (31.2%) among patients. Other chief complaints were broken/cracked teeth and shaking teeth. 31.2% of the patient with the complaint of toothache was diagnosed with apical periodontitis.
Conclusion: Data from this study revealed that patients of a healthcare facility in Southern Nigeria had toothache as their main chief presenting complaint and apical periodontitis as their main chief diagnosis.

Keywords: Chief complaints, Dental patients, Healthcare, Southern Nigeria.

Cite this article: Osadolor AJ, Ekariama A, Oyibo AI, Osadolor OO, Omorodion GI. Chief complaints of dental patients presenting at a secondary healthcare facility in Southern Nigeria: a five-year retrospective study. Yen Med J. 2021;3(1):25–38.


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