Patterns of dental services and factors that influence dental services among 64–65-year-old regular users of dental care in Denmark

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Objectives:To describe the pattern of dental services provided to 64–65-year-old Danes who are regular users of dental care over a 5-year period, to analyse whether this pattern is associated with socio-demographic and/or socioeconomic factors, and if different uses of dental services are related to dental status and caries experience. Finally, to discuss the future planning of dental services aimed at the increasing population of elderly citizens. [Correction made on 21 March 2014, after first online publication: The sentence ‘Data on elderly's dental service are scarce, although increased use is seen and more teeth are present in this age group.’ was removed.]Methods:A cross-sectional study of all aged 64–65 (n = 37 234) who received a dental examination in 2009 was conducted. Clinical data comprised dental services received under the National Health Insurance reimbursement scheme, dental status and DMFT. Geographical, socio-demographic and socioeconomic data derived from public registers.Results:Almost all received restorations, while periodontal treatment was received by <50% during 5 years. Heavy use of dental services was dominated by periodontal services. Periodontal services were most prevalent in the capital and the most affluent areas. Relatively more extractions were related to low income and persons in least affluent areas. Total number of services was highest among women, persons with ≥20 teeth, persons living in the capital, and where the ratio user per dentist was low.Conclusion:For future planning of dental care for elderly, dental status, geographical and social area-based factors and to some degree gender, income, and education must be taken into consideration as all these factors seem to influence the future demand for dental services.

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