Is accessibility to dental care facilities in rural areas associated with number of teeth in elderly residents?

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Given that public transportation networks are less developed in rural than in urban areas, a lack of accessibility to dental care facilities could be a barrier to routine dental checkups. Thus, we hypothesized that the distance to the dental care facilities is a risk factor for tooth loss. The aim of this study was to test whether there is an association between the distance to dental care facilities, estimated by geographic information systems, and number of teeth, assessed by an oral examination, among elderly residents of a rural area in Japan. Data were collected in 2016 from a cross-sectional study conducted in Shimane prefecture, Japan. After excluding participants with missing data (n = 21), we analyzed data from 710 participants. Of them, 40.6% were male and the mean (standard deviation) age was 67.4 (7.4) years. Further, 68.0% (n = 483) had at least 20 teeth. We found that the distance to dental care facilities was significantly associated with the number of teeth (less than 20) (odds ratio = 1.07, 95% confidence interval = 1.01–1.12) after adjustment for potential confounders. This result suggested that individuals without easy access to dental care facilities may be important targets for dental care.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Kyoto Sangyo University
  • Shimane University
  • Tominaga Dental Office
  • Stanford University

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Allmän medicin


TidskriftInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
StatusPublished - 2017 mar 21
Peer review utfördJa