In Finland, a dental subsidization reform, implemented in 2001-2002, abolished age restrictions on subsidized dental care. We investigated income-related inequality in oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) and its determinants among adult Finns before and after the reform. Three cross-sectional postal surveys, focusing on perceived oral health and the use of dental services among people born before 1971, were conducted in 2001 (n = 2,046), 2004 (n = 1,728), and 2007 (n = 1,560). Five measures, based on the Oral Health Impact Profile-14, were used as indicators of OHRQoL. Income-related inequality and associated factors were analysed using the concentration index and its decomposition. Prevalence, extent, and severity of oral health impacts were slightly lower in 2007 than in 2001. The oral health impacts were concentrated, at all study time points, among individuals with lower income. Most of the inequality was related to self-perceived general health, tooth loss, and income. Contributions of time since the last dental visit and satisfaction with the last treatment period to the inequality decreased from 2001 to 2007. However, the contributions of these factors were already small (10-20%) in 2001. In general, OHRQoL improved slightly; however, no clear or dramatic change in inequality in OHRQoL was seen after the reform.
The aim of this study was to investigate the association between body weight and periodontal infection in a longitudinal setting.
This study was based on a subpopulation of the Health 2000 Survey that included dentate, non-diabetic subjects aged 30-59 years, who had never smoked and who had participated in the Follow-Up Study on Finnish Adults' Oral Health approximately 4 years later (n=396). The number of new teeth with deepened (4 mm deep or deeper) periodontal pockets in the follow-up examination was used as the outcome variable. Body weight was measured using body mass index, categorized into three categories:
Evidence from cross-sectional studies implies that dental behaviours partially explain inequalities in oral health.
To assess whether dental behaviours completely eliminate inequality in increments of dental caries in a sample of Finnish adults.
The baseline data were collected from the Health 2000 survey, a nationally representative survey of 8,028 individuals aged 30 years or older living in mainland Finland. Four years later, 1,248 subjects were invited for oral re-examination, and 1,049 agreed to participate (84% response rate). At baseline, participants provided information on demographics, education and dental behaviours (dental attendance, tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste, sugar consumption and daily smoking). Oral examinations at baseline and follow-up were identical.
Adults with basic education had significantly greater increments of DMFT (incidence rate ratio 1.41, 95% CI 1.07-1.85) and DT (incidence rate ratio 2.23, 95% CI 1.27-3.90) than those with high education. Adjusting for single behaviours attenuated but did not eliminate education inequality in DMFT and DT increments, tooth brushing having the greatest impact on inequality. Simultaneous adjustment for all behaviours eliminated the significant relationship between education and caries increment.
Accounting for important dental behaviours appears to explain all education inequality in dental caries in Finnish adults. The results should be interpreted with caution when applied to less egalitarian populations.