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Type: Journal article
Title: Service provision among adult public dental service patients: baseline data from the Commonwealth Dental Health Program
Author: Brennan, D.
Spencer, A.
Slade, G.
Citation: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 1997; 21(1):40-44
Issue Date: 1997
ISSN: 1326-0200
Abstract: Patients using publicly funded dental care have been reported to have frequent emergency visits and extractions; however, reports have been based on data from a limited number of sites around Australia. The aims of this study were to provide baseline data at the beginning of the Commonwealth Dental Health Program to describe the service characteristics of patients receiving publicly funded dental care, and to analyse factors associated with extraction of teeth. In collaboration with state and territory government health departments, data were collected on patient characteristics, visit details and services received by a cross-sectional sample of adult patients receiving dental care in Queensland in October 1993, in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory from March to April 1994, and in Western Australia in October 1994. Data were available for 17,653 dental visits (89.4 per cent were dentate, 56.6 per cent were female, 69.1 per cent were from capital cities, and 38.0 per cent visited for an emergency). For dentate persons, logistic regression showed that factors associated with extractions were: age (< 30 years odds ratio (OR) = 1.28, reference 30+ years), sex (male OR = 1.37, reference (female), indigenous persons (indigenous OR = 2.56, reference nonindigenous), visit type (emergency OR = 4.70, reference nonemergency), and location (noncapital OR = 1.29, reference capital city). In publicly funded dental care, retention of teeth might be enhanced through changes in visit patterns, particularly for younger, male, indigenous and rural patients. Improved access for care is needed to achieve more desirable visit patterns, which would include: less emergency care and more planned care, shorter waiting times for nonemergency care, and fewer extractions.
Keywords: Humans
Dental Health Surveys
Middle Aged
Dental Health Services
National Health Programs
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-842X.1997.tb01652.x
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Dentistry publications

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