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J Public Health Dent. 2014 Summer;74(3):210-8. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12048. Epub 2014 Jan 15.

Cost as a barrier to accessing dental care: findings from a Canadian population-based study.

Author information

1
Discipline of Dental Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study is to determine the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Canadians who report cost barriers to dental care.

METHODS:

An analysis of data collected from the 2007/09 Canadian Health Measures Survey was undertaken from a sample of 5,586 Canadian participants aged 6-79. Cost barriers to dental care were operationalized through two questions: "In the past 12 months, have you avoided going to a dental professional because of the cost of dental care?" and "In the past 12 months, have you avoided having all the dental treatment that was recommended because of the cost?" Logistic regressions were conducted to identify relationships between covariates and positive responses to these questions.

RESULTS:

Approximately 17.3 percent of respondents had avoided a dental professional because of cost within the previous year, and 16.5 percent had declined recommended dental treatment because of cost. Adjusted estimates demonstrate that respondents with lower incomes and without dental insurance were over four times more likely to avoid a dental professional because of cost and approximately two and a half times more likely to decline recommended dental treatment because of cost.

CONCLUSIONS:

Nearly one out of five Canadians surveyed reported cost barriers to dental care. This study provides valuable baseline information for future studies to assess whether financial barriers to dental care are getting better or worse for Canadians.

KEYWORDS:

dental; dental health surveys; health services accessibility; healthcare disparities; insurance; socioeconomic factors

PMID:
24428772
DOI:
10.1111/jphd.12048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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