240280 Cost-prohibitive dental care needs among Canadians

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chantel Ramraj, MSc Candidate, BSc (Hons) , Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
OBJECTIVES: Using results from a survey of 1006 randomly selected Canadians conducted by Quiñonez and Locker (2007) the characteristics of the 26% who said they could not afford dental care in the past were examined. The types of dental needs selected as unaffordable were outlined and the predictors of choosing a particular need were determined. These perceived needs were then compared to normative needs as established by the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS, 2009). METHODS: Using SPSS 17.0, socio-demographic and dental related variables were analyzed and chi-square tests were used to assess relationships between self-reported dental care behaviors and socio-demographic characteristics with each service selected as unaffordable. RESULTS: The majority of those who had a cost-prohibitive dental need in the past said they pay for dental care out-of-pocket (56%). 74% of females chose crowns as unaffordable, 72% of those aged 35 to 54 years selected braces, 65% of those with equal to or less than a high school education chose dentures, 62% of those with a lower education chose extractions. Comparison to CHMS established that there was a much greater need for restorations than perceived by the population. CONCLUSIONS: Inequalities in the utilization and need of dental treatments were apparent. Most Canadians who deemed dental care unaffordable were uninsured and had a low income. Other variables such as gender, age and education influenced having cost-prohibitive needs and the types of services selected as unaffordable. There were discrepancies between normative clinical needs and self-reported perceived needs.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Define subgroups that find dental care cost-prohibitive in Canada. 2. Identify predictors of choosing a particular dental treatment as unaffordable. 3. Compare self-perceived dental needs to clinically-determined dental needs.

Keywords: Access to Care, Oral Health Needs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am working towards my Masters in Dentistry at the University of Toronto focusing on issues related to Dental Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.