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Inequalities in access and utilization of dental services: a cross-sectional study in an area covered by the Family Health Strategy

DOI: 10.1590/S0102-311X2011001400014

Keywords: health services accessibility, oral health, health inequalities.

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Abstract:

this cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the presence of inequalities in the access and use of dental services for people living in the coverage area of the family health strategy (fhs) in ponta grossa, paraná state, brazil, and to assess individual determinants related to them. the sample consisted of 747 individuals who answered a pre-tested questionnaire. data analysis was performed by chi-square test and poisson regression analysis, obtaining explanatory models for recent use and, by limiting the analysis to those who sought dental care, for effective access. results showed that 41% of the sample had recent dental visits. the lowest visit rates were observed among preschoolers and elderly people. the subjects who most identified the fhs as a regular source of dental care were children. besides age, better socioeconomic conditions and the presence of a regular source of dental care were positively associated to recent dental visits. we identified inequalities in use and access to dental care, reinforcing the need to promote incentives to improve access for underserved populations.

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