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Vol. 68, No. 7
ISSN: 1488-2159
July / August 2002


The Effect of Dental Insurance on the Ranking of Dental Treatment Needs in Older Residents of Durham Region's Homes for the Aged


• Albert O. Adegbembo, BDS, DDPH, MSc •
• James L. Leake, DDS, DDPH, MSc, FRCD(C) •
• Patricia A. Main, BDS, DDS, DDPH, MSc, FRCD(C) •
• Herenia L. Lawrence, DDS, MSc, PhD •
• Mary L. Chipman, BSc, MA •

A b s t r a c t

The effect of dental insurance on the ranking of dental needs in older adults has not been reported previously. We examined this effect using data obtained from a cross-sectional survey of older adults living in homes for the aged in Durham Region, Ontario. History of dental insurance was obtained during interviews. Dental needs, assessed during clinical examinations, were ranked from no need to urgent need according to the guideline of the American Dental Association. The associations between the rank of dental needs, dental insurance and other factors were analyzed with the Kruskal–Wallis test, chi-square test, analysis of variance and multiple logistic regression. Of the 252 participants, 80 (31.7%) had been insured continuously since 1974, 69 (27.4%) had no need for dental treatment and 59 (23.4%) needed urgent dental care. More of the continuously insured than the uninsured residents were dentate (46/80 [57.5%] vs. 75/172 [43.6%], p = 0.04). Ranking of the need for care was not significantly influenced by dental insurance; need of any kind was explained by being dentate (odds ratio 12.3, 95% confidence interval 5.6–27.3).


MeSH Key Words: dental care for aged; insurance, dental; needs assessment
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