Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
PINTO, Rafaela da Silveira; MATOS, Divane Leite and LOYOLA FILHO, Antônio Ignácio de. Characteristics associated with the use of dental services by the adult Brazilian population. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.2, pp.531-544. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000200026.
The scope of this study was to investigate the factors related to the use of dental services by Brazilian adults. Data were collected from 13,356 adults (35 to 44 years of age), participating in a nationwide epidemiological survey of oral health (SB-BRASIL 2003 Project). Data analysis was based on Poisson regression, which produced estimates of Prevalence Ratios as a measure of association. Data analysis showed that the use of dental services by adults was associated with: female gender, low education and income, living in the Northeastern and Southern regions and in small cities, complaints of toothache or gum pain, need for partial/total prosthesis, a greater amount of permanent teeth requiring treatment, demand for service due to some dental problems and evaluation of dental care received on a regular basis. These results showed that the population attended by the public service was socio-economically less privileged and had greater need for treatment. This situation reflects an historical abandonment of the adult population by the dental healthcare system in Brazil and poses a major challenge to the Unified Health Service, in light of its intended role to reduce inequalities and provide universal access to comprehensive care.
Keywords : Dental health service use; Brazilian adult oral health.