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Is accessing dental care becoming more difficult? Evidence from Canada's middle-income population

TitleIs accessing dental care becoming more difficult? Evidence from Canada's middle-income population
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsRamraj, C., Sadeghi L., Lawrence H. P., Dempster L., and Quiñonez C.
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Abstract

Objective To explore trends in access to dental care among middle-income Canadians. Methods A secondary data analysis of six Canadian surveys that collected information on dental insurance coverage, cost-barriers to dental care, and out-of-pocket expenditures for dental care was conducted for select years from 1978 to 2009. Descriptive analyses were used to outline and compare trends among middle-income Canadians with other levels of income as well as national averages. Results By 2009, middle-income Canadians had the lowest levels of dental insurance coverage (48.7%) compared to all other income groups. They reported the greatest increase in cost-barriers to dental care, from 12.6% in 1996 to 34.1% by 2009. Middle-income Canadians had the largest rise in out-of-pocket expenditures for dental care since 1978. Conclusions This study suggests that affordability issues in accessing dental care are no longer just a problem for the lowest income groups in Canada, but are now impacting middle-income earners as a consequence of their lack of, or decreased access to, comprehensive dental insurance.

URLhttp://www.plosone.org/article/info%3adoi%2f10.1371%2fjournal.pone.0057377
Document URLhttp://www.plosone.org/article/fetchobject.action?uri=info%3adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0057377&representation=pdf