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J Dent Res. 2010 Mar;89(3):307-11. doi: 10.1177/0022034509356779. Epub 2010 Jan 21.

Long-term dental visiting patterns and adult oral health.

Author information

  • 1Department of Oral Sciences, Sir John Walsh Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. murray.thomson@otago.ac.nz

Abstract

To date, the evidence supporting the benefits of dental visiting comes from cross-sectional studies. We investigated whether long-term routine dental visiting was associated with lower experience of dental caries and missing teeth, and better self-rated oral health, by age 32. A prospective cohort study in New Zealand examined 932 participants' use of dentistry at ages 15, 18, 26, and 32. At each age, routine attenders (RAs) were identified as those who (a) usually visited for a check-up, and (b) had made a dental visit during the previous 12 months. Routine attending prevalence fell from 82% at age 15 to 28% by 32. At any given age, routine attenders had better-than-average oral health, fewer had teeth missing due to caries, and they had lower mean DS and DMFS scores. By age 32, routine attenders had better self-reported oral health and less tooth loss and caries. The longer routine attendance was maintained, the stronger the effect. Routine dental attendance is associated with better oral health.

PMID:
20093674
PMCID:
PMC2821461
DOI:
10.1177/0022034509356779
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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