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Dental care attendance and refrainment from dental care among adults

Journal article
Authors Magnus Hakeberg
Ulla Wide Boman
Published in Acta Odontologica Scandinavica
Volume 75
Issue 5
Pages 366-371
ISSN 0001-6357
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Odontology, Section 1
Pages 366-371
Language en
Keywords Dental care, epidemiology, health services, socioeconomic status, utilization, perceived oral-health, services, inequalities, population, predictors, inequity, anxiety, sweden, access, cohort
Subject categories Odontological behavioural science


Objective: The aim of this study was to analyse dental care utilization, refrainment from self-perceived needed dental care and the association with socioeconomic indicators among adult individuals. Materials and methods: This cross-sectional survey included 3500 randomly selected adult individuals. Telephone interviews were conducted and the participants answered a battery of questions regarding dental visiting habits, health, socioeconomic position (SEP), behavioural factors and lifestyle indicators. Results: The outcome 'dental visits' was significantly correlated with SEP, especially with monetary dimensions, such as income and economic resources for unforeseen expenditures. However, educational level was not a significant predictor in the tested statistical models. Furthermore, other covariates that contributed significantly to the models were ethnicity, dental anxiety and lifestyle factors, albeit with a different pattern of impact on the two outcome dimensions. Important features of the SEP variables were the stepwise gradient relative to the outcomes, implicating that the lower the SEP status, the greater the risk of reporting irregular dental visiting habits and refraining from dental care due to financial problems. Conclusions: Dental care utilization and refraining from dental care for financial reasons clearly reveal associations with socioeconomic positions among adult individuals.

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