J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2014 Dec;38(4):193-202. 10.11149/jkaoh.2014.38.4.193.

An analysis of oral health status, dental service items, and fees among children receiving care from registered dentists over a three-year period

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, Shingu College, Seongnam, Korea. jaeinryu@shingu.ac.kr
  • 2Association of Dentists for Health Society, Seoul & Seongnam, Korea.
  • 3Department of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, Gangneung-Wonju National University & Research Institute of Oral Science College of Dentistry, Gangneung, Korea.

Abstract


OBJECTIVES
This study aims to investigate the trends and progress in oral health status, dental service items, and fees among children receiving community-based registered dental care over a three-year period.
METHODS
The study subjects were selected from nine community children centers in J district of S city, in the Korean province of Gyeonggi-do. The sample included 222 children who had received care in 2011 and 2012, and 205 children, in 2013. The dependent variables were oral health status (df index and decayed-missing-filled teeth index), dental service items (total number of visits and dental fillings by type), and dental fees (total fees, National Health Insurance [NHI] coverage, and NHI non-coverage), analyzed by year. The percentages of dental caries and dental service items were tested using chi-square analysis, and the mean of each variable, including dental fees, was tested using the Kruskal-Wallis method, owing to non-parametric distribution.
RESULTS
There was a statistically significant decrease in the rate of dental clinic visits for treatment, and an increase in the mean numbers of filled teeth and sealants performed per year. The rate and number of dental fillings increased steadily, whereas the services for oral health promotion and prevention were decreased. The number of dental visits and the total fees decreased steeply, especially within the second half of the last measured year: around 90,000 earned within that time, compared to 170,000 earned during the first year.
CONCLUSIONS
Dental clinic visits should be encouraged on a regular basis for oral health promotion and prevention by both patients and providers using capitation payment systems, for example. It is necessary to monitor and provide training for all related staff by developing a manual for oral health examination and treatment, adjusted for the registered dental system. Policy measures addressing the needs of vulnerable social groups are needed more than ever. Therefore, it is important to provide as much targeted support and training to the registered dental system as possible.

Keyword

Child health services; Dental care; Dental fees; Dental insurance; Registered dentist
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