251891 Role of the Dental Care Delivery System on Access to Dental Care

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 3:30 PM

Nadereh Pourat, PhD , Department of Health Services, UCLA School of Public Health/UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Los Angeles, CA
Dental workforce supply has a significant and central role in efforts to improve oral health care. Supply is frequently assessed by examining the ratio of dental care providers to the population. Dentist to population ratios are frequently based on the number of licensed dentist, which provide a rough estimated of the supply of providers at best. Better estimates of dental workforce supply should account for the factors that are correlated with capacity for providing care including, work characteristics, business characteristics, and practice patterns. Research on the role of dental provider characteristics on service provision is limited. This study provides evidence of the role of dentist characteristics on the population's access to care. Data from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) and a 2003 representative survey of California dentists were merged at the MSSA level. The percentage of dentists in an area with specific characteristics per MSSA was merged with CHIS data. The findings confirm that the ratio of full-time equivalent dentist to 5,000 population increases the likelihood of a dental visit in the past year among adults, but not among children, in models adjusted for population indicators. In addition, the findings indicate that the higher percentage of female dentists and the lower percentage of dentists who report being busy or overworked in an MSSA are significantly associated with higher likelihood of a dental visit among adults, independent of population level indicators.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of the Dental Home? Describe how differences in practice settings influence community oral health? List at least 2 issues outside of dental health can be addressed by oral health providers? Provide examples of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment [SBIRT] Should issues outside of dental health be addressed by oral health providers? Does this adversely impact the patient/provider relationship? Should the focus of the intervention be limited strictly to oral health manifestations? How can oral health providers improve preventive care at the community level?

Keywords: Oral Health, Oral Health Outcomes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the director of research at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and a professor of health services at the UCLA School of 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.