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Keywords:

  • consultation;
  • dentist;
  • longitudinal study;
  • oral health;
  • women

Aim:  To identify factors associated with dentist consultation by older Australian women.

Methods:  Participants from the older cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health which originally involved 12 432 older women.

Results:  The percentage of women who consulted a dentist in the years 1999, 2002 and 2005 were 35%, 36% and 37%, respectively. Women were more likely to consult with a dentist if they lived in urban areas (RR = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.21, 1.32), were non-smokers (RR = 1.38; 95% CI: 1.21, 157), did not have diabetes (RR = 1.16; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.25), had better physical health (RR = 1.02 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.02). Women were less likely to consult with a dentist if they found it difficult to live on their income (RR = 0.90; 95% CI: 085, 0.95).

Conclusion:  Access to dentists, cost of consultations and poor health appear to be significant factors influencing visits to a dentist by older Australian women.