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Type: Journal article
Title: Dental service patterns among private and public adult patients in Australia
Author: Brennan, D.
Luzzi, L.
Roberts-Thomson, K.
Citation: BMC Health Services Research, 2008; 8(1):WWW 1-WWW 8
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 1472-6963
Statement of
David S Brennan, Liana Luzzi and Kaye F Roberts-Thomson
Abstract: Background While the majority of dental care in Australia is provided in the private sector those patients who attend for public care remain a public health focus due to their socioeconomic disadvantage. The aims of this study were to compare dental service profiles provided to patients at private and public clinics, controlling for age, sex, reason for visit and income. Methods Data were collected in 2004–06, using a three-stage, stratified clustered sample of Australians aged 15+ years, involving a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI), oral examination and mailed questionnaire. Analysis was restricted to those who responded to the CATI. Results A total of 14,123 adults responded to the CATI (49% response) of whom 5,505 (44% of those interviewed) agreed to undergo an oral epidemiological examination. Multivariate analysis controlling for age, sex, reason for visit and income showed that persons attending public clinics had higher odds [Odds ratio, 95%CI] of extraction (1.69, 1.26–2.28), but lower odds of receiving oral prophylaxis (0.50, 0.38–0.66) and crown/bridge services (0.34, 0.13–0.91) compared to the reference category of private clinics. Conclusion Socio-economically disadvantaged persons who face barriers to accessing dental care in the private sector suffer further oral health disadvantage from a pattern of services received at public clinics that has more emphasis on extraction of teeth and less emphasis on preventive and maintenance care.
Keywords: Humans
Cluster Analysis
Retrospective Studies
Dental Care
Public Health Dentistry
Vulnerable Populations
Fee-for-Service Plans
Private Practice
Health Services Accessibility
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Practice Patterns, Physicians'
Rights: © 2008 Brennan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-8-1
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