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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


CAMARGO, Maria Beatriz J.; DUMITH, Samuel C.  and  BARROS, Aluísio J. D.. Regular use of dental care services by adults: patterns of utilization and types of services . Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.9, pp.1894-1906. ISSN 1678-4464.

The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of regular use of dental services by adults and identify groups where this behavior is more frequent. A cross-sectional population-based study was carried out in Pelotas, southern Brazil, including 2,961 individuals who answered a standardized questionnaire. Overall prevalence of regular use of dental services was 32.8%. The following variables were positively associated with regular use: female gender, age > 60 years, no partner, high educational level, high economic status, private service user, good/excellent self-rated oral health, and no perceived need for dental treatment. Those who had received orientation on prevention and expressed a favorable view towards the dentist had higher odds of being regular users. Especially among lower-income individuals, regular use was infrequent (15%). When restricting the analysis to users of public dental services, schooling was still positively associated with the outcome. Dental services, especially in the public sector, should develop strategies to increase regular and preventive use.

Keywords : Dental Care; Health Services; Adult.

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