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J Can Dent Assoc. 2004 Oct;70(9):604-9.

A macroeconomic review of dentistry in Canada in the 1990s.

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University of Toronto, Ontario.



To document the trends in expenditures on dental health care services and the number of dental health care professionals in Canada from 1990 to 1999.


Information on dental and health expenditures, numbers of dentists, hygienists and dental therapists, and the population of Canada and the provinces were obtained from the Canadian Institute for Health Information; data on numbers of denturists were obtained from regional bodies and from Health Canada. Information on the costs of other disease categories was taken from studies by Health Canada (1993 and 1998). International comparisons were made on the basis of data published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Indices of change over the decade (in which the 1990 value served as the baseline [100]) were calculated.


By 1999, the supply of all types of dental care providers had increased to 1 for every 904 people. Dental expenditures during the 1990s increased by 64% overall and by 49% per capita, a rate of increase that exceeded both inflation and costs of health care. Although the public share of dental costs decreased from 9.2% to 5.8%, the direct costs of dental care increased to rank second (6.30 billion dollars) after those for cardiovascular diseases (6.82 billion dollars). Among the OECD nations, Canada had the fourth highest per capita dental expenditures and the second lowest per capita public dental expenditures.


The direct economic costs of dental conditions increased during the 1990s from 4.13 billion dollars to 6.77 billion dollars. Over the same period, the public share for expenditures on dental health care services declined.

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