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J Dent Res. 2006 Jan;85(1):79-84.

Welfare dental intervention improves employment and quality of life.

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Division of Oral Epidemiology and Dental Public Health, University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry, 3333 California Street, Suite 495, San Francisco, CA 94143-1361, USA.


Chronic, untreated oral disease adversely affects one's systemic health, quality of life, and economic productivity. This study evaluated the effect of rehabilitative dental treatment on the oral-health-related quality of life and employment of welfare recipients. Three hundred and seventy-seven participants in a novel welfare dental program received oral examinations, questionnaires, and rehabilitative dental treatment. Seventy-nine percent of participants exhibited improvement in their oral-health-related quality-of-life scores following dental treatment. Improved OHIP-14 change scores were associated with being Caucasian or African-American, initial poor general health, severity of treatment urgency, worse baseline oral-health-related quality-of-life scores, subsequent patient satisfaction with the Dental Program, and resolution of their chief complaint (all p < 0.04). Those who completed their dental treatment were twice as likely to achieve a favorable/neutral employment outcome (OR = 2.01, 95%CI = 1.12, 3.62). Thus, oral health improved the quality of life and employment outcome for this welfare population.

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