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Mil Med. 2001 Feb;166(2):171-8.

Oral health of ambulatory care patients.

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Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, MA 01730, USA.



This project assessed the clinical oral health status of Veterans Administration (VA) patients and examined the relationship between oral health and both sociodemographic factors and dental care utilization.


Data were collected on 538 users of VA ambulatory medical care. Oral health was assessed by clinical examinations, and dental use and sociodemographic information are based on self-report.


Younger, more educated VA patients with higher incomes had more teeth, fewer untreated and treated root caries, and were less likely to be edentulous or to have dentures. Dental utilization emerged as the most important aspect of veterans' oral health status, even after sociodemographic factors were controlled. Compared with the general population, veterans have poorer oral health with the exception of coronal caries.


Compared with national studies, VA patients appear to have worse oral health. The importance of sociodemographic factors and dental utilization that has been found in other studies applies to veterans' oral health as well.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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