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Keywords:

  • Dental insurance;
  • oral health;
  • organised sector;
  • risk factors;
  • social security

Objectives

The target population for this cross sectional study comprises subjects with and without social security in a national social security scheme. The study aimed to compare and assess the risk factors for oral diseases among insured (organised sector) and non-insured workers (unorganised sector) in New Delhi, India.

Methods

The sample comprised a total of 2,752 subjects. Of these, 960 workers belonged to the formal or organised sector with a social security and dental health insurance and 1,792 had no social security or dental insurance from the informal or unorganised sector.

Results

Significant differences were noted between the two groups for literacy levels, between-meal sugar consumption, tobacco-related habits and utilisation of dental care. Bleeding/calculus and periodontal pockets were present among 25% and 65.4% of insured workers, respectively. Similarly, 13.6% and 84.5% of non-insured workers had bleeding/calculus and periodontal pockets, respectively. The mean DMFT (decayed, missing, filled teeth) value among the insured workers and non-insured workers was 3.27 ± 1.98 and 3.75 ± 1.80, respectively. The association between absence of health insurance and dental caries was evident with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.94. Subjects with below graduate education were more prone to dental caries (OR = 1.62). Subjects who cleaned their teeth two or more times a day were less likely to have dental caries (OR = 1.47). Utilisation of dental care was inversely related to dental caries (OR = 1.25).

Conclusion

The major risk factors for oral diseases in both the groups with similar socio-economic status were the lack of social security and health insurance, low literacy levels, high tobacco consumption and low levels of dental care utilisation.