Oral health trends among adult public dental patients

Oral health trends among adult public dental patients presents findings on edentulism (complete tooth loss), dental caries (decay) and periodontal (gum) disease among public dental patients between 1995-96 and 2001-02. Adults eligible for public dental care are primarily persons on low incomes who hold government entitlement cards such as aged pensioners and the unemployed.

Data were collected by dentists at the beginning of a public-funded course of dental care. Trends in oral health are presented by age of patient, type of care (emergency or general), and geographic location (major city or regional/remote).

The findings show that while there was little change over time in edentulism and some improvement in periodontal status, the experience of dental caries worsened. Overall, there were more decayed and missing teeth, but fewer filled teeth, with variation by age of patient, location and type of care.

David Brennan
John Spencer

ISBN 1 74024 359 5
ISSN 1321-0254
AIHW Cat. No. DEN 127
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