Older Australian women's use of dentists: A longitudinal analysis over 6 years

Authors

  • David W Sibbritt,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Julie E Byles,

    1. Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Meredith A Tavener

    1. Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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Associate Professor David Sibbritt, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle. Email: david.sibbritt@newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

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.

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