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VOLUME 11 , ISSUE 5 ( October, 2010 ) > List of Articles


Tooth Loss Among Nigerians Treated in Teaching Hospitals: A National Pilot Study

Christopher I. Udoye, Adeyemi O. Olusile, Elizabeth O. Oziegbe, Temitope A. Esan, Michael A. Ojo, Hector O. Olasoji

Citation Information : Udoye CI, Olusile AO, Oziegbe EO, Esan TA, Ojo MA, Olasoji HO. Tooth Loss Among Nigerians Treated in Teaching Hospitals: A National Pilot Study. J Contemp Dent Pract 2010; 11 (5):17-24.

DOI: 10.5005/jcdp-11-5-17

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Published Online: 01-09-2007

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2010; The Author(s).



The aim of this study was to identify the causes and patterns of tooth loss among Nigerian adults.


Tooth loss continues to be a major problem in clinical dentistry and has received significant attention in everyday dental practice. In Nigeria there is a discernible lack of current data that would explain the reasons and patterns of tooth loss from its different geopolitical zones.

Methods and Materials

The reasons for tooth extractions during a period of 12 months were obtained from the hospital records of teaching and specialist hospitals in Nigeria's six geopolitical zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences for Windows (SPSS) version 9.0.


A total of 4,204 teeth were extracted from 3,431 patients. Of these teeth 52.4 percent were lost due to dental caries while 30.2 percent were removed because of periodontal disease, 5.0 percent were missing as a result of trauma, and 3.9 percent were impacted and required extraction. The remaining 8.5 percent were extracted for a variety of reasons such as orthodontic treatment, overeruption, neoplasms, supernumerary teeth, attrition, a cystic lesion, and hypoplasia. Dental caries was the most common diagnosis given for tooth loss in the South-South (79 percent), South- East (68 percent), North-East (47 percent), North- West (69 percent), and North-Central (35 percent) zones followed by periodontal disease. In contrast, periodontal disease was the most common cause of tooth loss in the South-West zone (65 percent) and in the FCT (55 percent), followed by dental caries at 22 percent and 33 percent, respectively.


Although teeth were extracted based on a variety of diagnoses, dental caries was identified as the common reason cited for tooth loss in Nigeria and to a lesser extent periodontal disease. Also different reasons were given for tooth loss among the various geographical zones.

Clinical Significance

Tooth loss among Nigerians was attributed largely to dental caries and secondarily to periodontal disease. Both conditions can be prevented if diagnosed early enough and treatment is instituted in a timely manner.


Esan TA, Olusile AO, Ojo MA, Udoye CI, Oziegbe EO, Olasoji HO. Tooth loss among Nigerians treated in teaching hospitals: A National Pilot Study. J Contemp Dent Prac [Internet], 2010 October;11(5):017-024. Available from: http://www.

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