173672 Disparities in children's access to dental care in a large metropolitan area

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Allegra R. Gordon, MPH , Research & Evaluation, PHMC, Philadelphia, PA
Francine Axler, MPH , Research and Evaluation, Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Gary D. Klein, PhD , Information Services, Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Lynne Kotranski, PhD , Vice President, Research and Evaluation, Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Children's oral health has improved greatly from a generation ago, yet dental caries remains the most common chronic childhood disease. According to the 2000 Surgeon General's Report, the burden of oral diseases amounts to a silent epidemic, particularly impacting low-income children and children of color. This presentation will examine the range of dental care disparities among children within a major metropolitan area. Our analysis uses data from the PHMC 2006 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, a random-digit-dial telephone survey of 10,100 households in Philadelphia and surrounding PA counties, including households with children ages 0-17. Information was obtained regarding the health of a selected child, including dental health care for children 4-17. Preliminary findings indicate disparities in frequency of dental visits and prevalence of unmet dental needs. Children living below 200% of the federal poverty guideline (20.9%) were three times more likely to not have had a dental visit within the previous year, compared to children living at or above 200% poverty (7.6%). Latino children (14.8%) were 4 times and Black/African-American (9.7%) children were 2.5 times more likely than white children (4.2%) to have an unmet need for dental care due to the cost of care. Uninsured children (39.3%) were over seven times more likely to have an unmet dental need due to cost, compared to insured children (7.9%). Predictors of unmet dental needs among children will be examined in greater detail, as well as trends in children's access to dental care from 1996 to 2006.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the overall trend in children’s access to dental care in the Southeastern PA region over the past decade. 2. Identify one similarity and one difference between the Southeastern PA and national findings with regards to children’s dental health; discuss the policy implications of the differences. 3. List three predictors of disparities in dental care between children in the region.

Keywords: Children and Adolescents, Survey

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

See more of: Oral Health Poster Session VI
See more of: Oral Health