Dental service utilisation in the general adult population in Eswatini: Results of a national STEPS survey

Busisiwe Ntuli, Supa Pengpid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this analysis was to estimate dental service utilization (DSU) in a community-based national survey among adults in Eswatini. National data were analyzed from 3,278 individuals (15-69 years) that took part in the Eswatini cross-sectional STEPS survey in 2014. DSU data was measured, including health/lifestyle, enabling, pre-disposing and need factors of DSU. Results indicate that 51.5% of participants had never DSU, 12.7% within the past 12 months and 35.8% more than 12 months ago. Pre-disposing factors including secondary or more education (ARRR: 4.79, 95% CI: 2.86, 8.01), enabling factors, including ever screened for glucose (ARRR: 2.14, 95% CI: 1.28, 3.56), health and lifestyle factors, including overweight/ obesity (ARRR: 1.78, 95% CI: 1.19, 2.67), and teeth cleaning (≥twice/day) (ARRR: 3.85, 95% CI: 1.42, 10.47), and need factors, including pain in teeth, gum or mouth (ARRR: 5.20, 95% CI: 3.31, 8.19), chewing difficulty (ARRR: 2.62, 95% CI: 1.68, 4.12), and missing work because of teeth or mouth (ARRR: 2.64, 95% CI: 1.12, 6.23), were positively associated with past 12-month DSU. In addition, older age (ARRR: 2.81, 95% CI: 2.07, 3.82), and perceived poor oral health (ARRR: 1.90, 95% CI: 1.26, 2.87) were positively, and moderate physical activity (ARRR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.43, 0.99) was negatively associated with >12-months DSU. More than one in ten participants had past 12-month DSU and several associated factors were identified. Oral health promotion needs to improve preventive DSU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal on Disability and Human Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Adults
  • Eswatini
  • dental service utilisation


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