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J Dent Educ. 1986 Nov;50(11):673-7.

Factors affecting dental utilization of elders aged 75 years or older.


Data collected from 496 elders aged 75 years or older participating in the Massachusetts Health Care Panel Study were analyzed by means of multiple regression to determine the principal predictors of perceived need for care and of dental users. The relationship between perceived need and use of services also was examined. The significant variables influencing perceived need in elders were poorer self-perceived oral health, having some teeth, and reporting a dental visit within two years. Dental users were best predicted by dentate status, a history of alcohol consumption, and perceived need for care. Although the variables of perceived need and being a user each influenced the other, both were more influenced by a common significant predictor variable, dentate status.

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