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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


MATOS, Divane Leite; LIMA-COSTA, Maria Fernanda; GUERRA, Henrique L  and  MARCENES, Wagner. Bambuí Project: an evaluation of private, public and unionized dental services. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.36, n.2, pp.237-243. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: Since one of the goals of dental services is to reduce the effects of social inequality on dental health, it was assessed whether there are inequalities among those seeking dental care from private, public and unionized services. METHODS: The study population consisted of adults aged 18 years or more living in the city of Bambuí, Brazil. Participants were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Data analysis was carried out using Pearson's chi-square test, odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals (Woolf's method). RESULTS: There were included 656 subjects who met the study's inclusion criteria. Adjusted results using multiple logistic regression showed that those using private services were more likely to be satisfied with their teeth's looks (OR=3.03; 95%CI =1.70-5.39) and chewing ability (OR=2.27; 95%CI=1.17-4.40) compared to those using public services. Also, they were less likely to perceive their need for dental treatment (OR=0.39; 95%CI=0.18-0.86) and were more likely to have had restorative (OR=9.57; 95%CI=4.72¾19.43) and/or preventive (OR=5.57; 95%CI=2.31¾13.40) treatment in their last visit to the dentist's. Those using unionized services were more likely to have had restorative (OR=8.51; 95%CI=2.80¾25.92) and/or preventive treatment (OR=11.42; 95%CI=3.49¾37.43) in their last visit to the dentist's when compared to those using public services. However, there were no differences regarding satisfaction with their teeth's looks, chewing ability, and perceived treatment needs. CONCLUSION: Public dental care services have not been able to reduce social inequalities related to oral health care.

Keywords : Dental health services; Services evaluation; Dental care; Patient satisfaction; Public sector; Private sector; Socioeconomic factors; Health inequity; Oral health.

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