The aim of the present study was to describe the Norwegian adult population according to: 1. number of teeth present, 2. demand and utilization of dental services, 3. travel time from home to the dentist, 4. dental health behaviour, 5. fear for dental treatment. The analyses were performed on a set of national data collected in 1989, which was representative of the non-institutionalized Norwegian population 20 years and above. The sample size was 1260 individuals. About 75% of the people had 20 teeth or more present. Nine percent were edentulous. Seventy-seven percent who had demanded dental services during the last year. The average expenditure for dental treatment for those who had demanded the services during the last year was NOK 826. Fifty-three percent travelled 15 minutes or less from home to the dentist. Eighteen percent travelled 30 minutes or more. Almost everybody with their own teeth present brushed their teeth regularly once a day. Thirty-three percent of all dentate people used woodsticks regularly once a day, while 20% used toothfloss regularly. Seventy-five percent had no to mild fear of the dentist, while 7% had a strong fear. Fear of the dentist was higher among women than among men. Fear of the dentist decreased by increasing age. Few people, less than 4%, had cancelled a dental appointment because of dental anxiety. There has been an improvement in dental health and dental health behaviour in Norway during the 1970's and 1980's. These improvements are discussed with special attention paid to the findings from the present study.
The National Health Insurance covers a minor part of the expenditures for adults' dental care in Norway. This paper describes the present principles for charging patients for health care services. The paper has 3 aims, 1) to describe patient charges assessed as personal expenditures for dental treatment, 2) to relate patient charges for dental treatment to patient charges for other health services, and thirdly 3) to compare the level of spending for dental care to other household-consumption. Patient charges are higher for dental care than for other non-institutionalized health services. There is an upper limit to patient charges for health services (dental services are not included). The upper limit was approximately 90 in 1987. Above that limit health services are free. Altogether 137,000 persons reached that level of personal expenditures for health services in 1987. The price per unit of dental services is considered rather low in Norway. However, approximately 600,000 adults had expenditures for dental services which exceeded 90. The inconsistency in the present level of patient charges is discussed.