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Am J Health Behav. 2014 Sep;38(5):781-8. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.38.5.15.

Barriers to dental services for older adults.

Author information

1
The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, City College of New York, New York, NY, USA. TMontini@med.cuny.edu.
2
New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
3
University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore barriers to older adults' accessing dental care.

METHODS:

We performed oral exams on 184 community-dwelling older adults; those who needed dental care were contacted 6-12 weeks later to determine if they were able to access treatment. Those who could not access care were interviewed regarding barriers.

RESULTS:

Of those examined, 89% needed dental treatment. After 6 weeks, 52% had received treatment, 48% had not. Those unable to access treatment had fewer teeth, were more likely to be referred regarding dentures, and were less likely to have a dentist. Reasons cited for not accessing care among the 35 participants we interviewed included a lack of finances, transportation, or assistance in navigating dental service.

CONCLUSIONS:

Older adults have a high burden of oral disease and access barriers remain.

PMID:
24933147
DOI:
10.5993/AJHB.38.5.15
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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