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Keywords:

  • edentulism;
  • health disparities;
  • health services research;
  • oral health;
  • rural

Abstract

Purpose: To examine the differences in oral health status among residents of high-poverty counties, as compared to residents of other rural or urban counties, specifically on the prevalence of edentulism.

Methods: We used the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the 2006 Area Resource File (ARF). All analyses were conducted with SAS and SAS-callable SUDAAN, in order to account for weighting and the complex sample design.

Findings: Characteristics significantly related to edentulism include: geographic location, gender, race, age, health status, employment, insurance, not having a usual source of care, education, marital status, presence of chronic disease, having an English interview, not deferring care due to cost, income, and dentist saturation within the county.

Conclusions: Significant associations between high-poverty rural and other rural counties and edentulism were found, and other socioeconomic and health status indicators remain strong predictors of edentulism.