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Keywords:

  • Dental services;
  • young adult;
  • epidemiology;
  • oral health

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to describe the demographic and health and lifestyle factors associated with dental service attendance in the previous 12 months by young Australian adults (18–24 years).

Methods: Population-based data from the 2001 Australian National Health Survey were analysed. Proportions and single associations between variables of interest and dental service attendance were calculated. A logistic regression analysis using significant single association variables was then conducted.

Results: Overall, 41 per cent of young adults in this study had visited a dental professional in the previous 12 months. Females, those in cities, those with private insurance, those who spoke languages other than English, those in the highest socioeconomic group and those with healthy behaviours were subgroups most likely to have visited a dental professional. With logistic regression, factors found to be associated with dental services attendance were being female, having private health insurance and low alcohol consumption.

Conclusions: In this study, the proportion of young adults who had visited a dental professional in the previous 12 months was only 41 per cent. It is therefore suggested that oral health policy and promotion activities be encouraged for this group, paying attention to young adults in groups with low attendance.