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Type: Journal article
Title: Caries experience among publicly-funded dental patients in Australia, 1995-96: Type of care and geographic location
Author: Brennan, D.
Spencer, A.
Slade, G.
Citation: Australian Dental Journal, 2000; 45(1):37-45
Publisher: Australian Dental Assn Inc
Issue Date: 2000
ISSN: 0045-0421
Statement of
D.S. Brennan, A.J. Spencer and G.D Slade
Abstract: Health card holders are a financially disadvantaged group and are the target population eligible for publicly-funded dental care. While their health status is generally worse compared with other Australians, there is also considerable variation among card holders. The aims of this study were to describe the oral health status of publicly-funded dental patients by type of care, geographic location and age, and to compare trends over time against other Australian studies. Patients were sampled randomly, based on date of birth, by State/Territory dental services in 1995-96. Dentists recorded oral health measures at the initial visit of a course of care using written instructions, but there was no formal calibration. The 6109 patients sampled were weighted in proportion to the numbers of publicly-funded dental patients for each State/Territory. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that caries experience measured by the DMFT index increased across older age groups (p<0.05). For rural compared with urban patients, mean numbers of decayed and filled teeth tended to be higher. For emergency compared with non-emergency care, mean numbers of decayed and missing teeth were higher, and filled teeth lower. The findings of this monitoring survey document high levels of previous disease and treatment and indicate variation between subgroups of users of publicly-funded dental care. This included an uneven geographic distribution of oral health and disease, and variation in unmet treatment needs by type of course of care. Temporal comparisons indicate publicly-funded patients have experienced the population trend towards lower levels of tooth loss over time but have higher levels of untreated decayed teeth compared with the general population.
Keywords: Caries
public patients
Description: The document attached has been archived with permission from the Australian Dental Association. An external link to the publisher’s copy is included.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2000.tb00240.x
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Dentistry publications

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