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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1993 Dec;21(6):340-6.

Sociodental approach to the identification of dental treatment-need groups.

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Joint Department of Dental Public Health, London Hospital Medical College, England.


The aim of this study was to propose a method that could be used to distinguish significantly different dental treatment-need groups, to assist in planning more appropriate preventive dental health programmes than are now generally available. This involved the use of alternative new measures of dental status in conjunction with an indicator of people's potential, or "propensity" to adopt appropriate dental self-care measures. One important finding, based on a detailed questionnaire and dental examination of a sample population, is that substantial groups have relatively low or medium levels of dental status even though they possess relatively high propensity for self-care measures. A cross-classification of oral health status with the propensity indicator is used to define different treatment-need groups. Significant differences among these groups emerge in relation to various social indicators like age group, gender, region and dental history, and in relation to preventive dental health measures such as dental attendance and efficacy of teeth cleaning. The methodology proposed for identifying such different treatment-need groups could be valuable in devising effective community dental health strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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