Introduction: Oral health has not been a priority in most low to middle income countries, Zambia inclusive despite being among the top ten
global health challenges. There is a need not only to treat but also to put preventive measures in place to reduce the prevalence and future
occurrence of oral diseases.
Objectives: To find out the utilisation patterns, socioeconomic factors that affect the utilisation patterns of dental services, and dental anxiety
levels as well as their effect on utilisation patterns of patients visiting the dental department at Ndola teaching hospital.
Methods: The study design was a quantitative study, to be conducted as a cross-sectional survey, gathering information from patients that
attend the dental department at Ndola teaching hospital. The information was collected through structured interviews using a modified
questionnaire from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Results: Among the participants, 2.08% of patients were currently regular attenders, 3.82% were former regular attenders, 94.10%
were never regular attenders and none of the patients were always regular attenders. The time since the last dental visit showed that
31.25% of patients had visited the dentist within a year before the current visit, 12.5% had last visited the dentist within a period of 2 to 5
years prior, 31.25% had visited more than 5 years ago, while 25% had never been to the dentist.
Conclusion: The time since the last dental visit was correlated to both the gender of the patients and the type of insurance policy held by the
patient, while the pattern of dental attendance was not correlated with any of the socioeconomic variables investigated.