Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
SOUZA, Eliane Helena Alvim de; OLIVEIRA, Pierre Andrade Pereira de; PAEGLE, Ana Claudia and GOES, Paulo Sávio Angeiras de. Race and the use of dental health services by the elderly. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.8, pp.2063-2070. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000800017.
We analyze if race can be considered a limiting factor in the use of dental services by the elderly. This study is of an analytical nature, with the use of secondary data collected by the National Survey of Oral Health in 2003. Those examined who declared themselves as being white, brown or black in the 65 to 74-year-old age bracket were included. The sample was composed of 5,108 elderly people: 2,575 whites and 2,533 blacks. Of the whites, 3.8% stated that they had never been to the dentist, while this figure was 7.8% for the blacks. Even after the adjustment for interception for prosthetics and dental pain, the chance of elderly blacks not having used dental services at least once in their life is 0.62 OR less than for elderly whites. Of those who used the services, 21.2% of the elderly whites visited the dentist in the last year, while for elderly blacks the figure was 14.2%, in the adjusted model for interception for prosthetics and dental pain the OR was 0.60. All the relations were statistically significant (p<0,001). Race is a limiting factor in the use of dental services by the elderly and even after the adjustments the elderly blacks continue to manifest greater resistance to the use of oral health services.
Keywords : The elderly; Afro-descendants; Geriatric dentistry; Dental health services; Accessibility of health services.