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Type: Journal article
Title: Oral health of children in South Australia by socio-demographic characteristics and choice of provider
Author: Gaughwin, A.
Spencer, A.
Brennan, D.
Moss, J.
Citation: Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 1999; 27(2):93-102
Issue Date: 1999
ISSN: 0301-5661
Statement of
Anne Gaughwin, A. John Spencer, David S. Brennan and John Moss
Abstract: Australia has a highly developed school dental program for providing dental care to schoolchildren which operates alongside well-established private practice delivery of dental care. While free school-based dental care has high utilisation where offered, little is known about the oral health outcomes of groups of children across different providers of dental care, or patterns of service use. This paper investigates the effects of socio-demographic characteristics and choice of dental provider on oral health amongst a random sample of secondary school students residing in Adelaide, South Australia. Objectives: To describe the oral health of children by different dental provider groups; to describe the association of socio-demographic characteristics with oral health outcomes; and to describe the differences in oral health that remained after controlling for socio-demographic confounding, by dental provider group. Methods: The study included metropolitan Adelaide schoolchildren from Year 9 and 10 school grades (n=373). Results: Children who received care from the School Dental Service (SDS) and from both the SDS and private dentists (Mixed) had significantly lower caries experience (DMFS) than children who received care from private dentists (Private) or who had not received any care for at least 2 years (No Recent Care). There were differences in the socio-demographic characteristics between children who used different dental providers, and these socio-demographic characteristics were significantly associated with levels of decayed, missing and filled surfaces and surfaces which had been fissure sealed. After controlling for socio-demographic characteristics using multiple regression, significant differences were seen in mean caries experience (DMFS) and mean numbers of decayed surfaces and filled surfaces. Conclusion: Although from less advantaged backgrounds, children seen through the SDS had more favourable oral health outcomes than children seen by a private dentist.
Keywords: children; dental provider; DMFS; oral health
Rights: Copyright © Munksgaard 1999
RMID: 0030003018
DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.1999.tb01997.x
Appears in Collections:Dentistry publications

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