Geographic variation in oral health and use of dental services in the Australian population 2004-06

Health Australia

This report finds that all measures of tooth loss, poorer oral health and unfavourable dental visiting patterns were more prevalent among non-capital-city residents than capital-city dwellers.

• Complete tooth loss was more prevalent among older age groups and non-capital-city residents.

• Inadequate natural dentition (having less than 21 teeth) was more prevalent among non-capital-city residents, particularly in the 55-74 years age group.

• Untreated decay was more prevalent among residents of non-capital-city areas than capital-city dwellers, and was most pronounced in the 15-34 years age group.

• People living in non-capital-city areas were more likely to have a problem-oriented pattern of dental attendance, and were:

- less likely to visit for check-ups
- less likely to make an annual dental visit
- less likely to have a particular dentist that they usually visit.

• People living in non-capital-city areas were less likely to have made a dental visit within the previous 12 months, and those who had visited were:

- more likely to have had one or more teeth extracted
- less likely to have received a professional clean and polish.

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