Oral health of cardholders: number of teeth
Among persons visiting for a check-up, there was little variation in the number of teeth between those who attended in the private sector compared with those who attended publicly. However, among persons visiting for a dental problem the number of teeth was higher for those who attended privately compared with publicly in the 65 years or older age group.
Oral health of cardholders: dental caries
Among persons visiting for a check-up, no significant differences were observed in caries experience between those who attended privately compared with those in the public sector. However, among persons visiting for a dental problem, those attending privately compared with publicly had lower numbers of decayed teeth overall, lower numbers of missing teeth in the 65 years or older age group, and higher numbers of filled teeth in the 65 years or older age group and for all age groups combined.
Oral health of cardholders: periodontal disease
Periodontal disease, as assessed by the presence of 4+ mm periodontal pockets, did not vary significantly between persons who attended privately compared with publicly for those visiting for either a check-up or a dental problem.
Dental services provided to cardholders
The percentage of persons receiving fillings did not vary significantly between those who attended privately compared with publicly for those visiting for either a check-up or a dental problem. However, the percentage of persons who received extractions tended to be higher for those who attended publicly compared with privately, but this was only significant among those aged 35–44 years who visited for a check-up.
Where differences were observed by place of last dental visit, the differences consistently involved disadvantage in terms of either oral health status or service patterns for those who visited the public sector compared to the private sector. However, the majority of comparisons involved estimates with overlapping confidence intervals, which were not considered to be statistically significant. This may be indicative of a general level of disadvantage that may be common to cardholders regardless of the place of their last dental visit.
ISBN 978 1 74024 888 4
AIHW Cat. No. DEN 196