eISSN: 2449-8580
ISSN: 1734-3402
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review
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2/2021
vol. 23
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Unmet dental needs in children – a cross-sectional study of 0.6 million children in the United States

Irene Rethemiotaki
1

1.
Department of Production Engineering and Management, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece
Fam Med Prim Care Rev 2021; 23(2): 215–219
Online publish date: 2021/07/06
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Introduction
It is of the utmost importance to acknowledge the seriousness of unmet dental needs in children, which in return reflects the responsibility of underlying factors that lead to barriers to dental care. The aim of this work is to study unmet dental needs in children and adolescents in the United States during the years 2009–2018 with the ultimate goal of finding statistically significant predictors for barriers to dental treatment.

Material and methods
The statistical methods used to extract the results of this work are the chi-square test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to examine the statistical significance of socio-economic factors in the unmet dental needs of children. A multiple logistic regression analysis was used to find statistically significant prognostic factors for the barriers to dental treatment.

Results
The prevalence of unmet dental needs in the United States during 2009–2018 was found to be 5.17%. According to multiple logistic regression analysis, female children from single-parent families with a low family income have a higher risk of developing unmet dental needs. In addition, the parents’ education and race proved to also be prognostic risks for unmet dental needs. Lastly, families with no health insurance coverage are more likely to have children with unmet dental needs.

Conclusions
The results of this study highlight the significance of the family structure, the level of parents’ education and deprivation of financial support as the main prognostic risk factors for unmet dental needs. Moreover, children with barriers to dental care are six times more likely to visit a dentist every 2–5 years.

keywords:

prognosis, health services needs and demand, socioeconomic factors

 
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