The aim of this study was to explore disability days, or bed days and cut-down days, associated with dental problems in Canada.
Data were collected through a national telephone interview survey of 1005 Canadians aged 18 years and over using random digit dialling. Participants were asked to enumerate the number of disability days associated with dental problems in the previous 2-week period. Descriptive and bivariate logistic regression analyses were undertaken.
In the previous 2-week period, 33 people, or 3.3% of the sample, reported spending a day in bed because of a dental problem. Of these, 22 people also reported having to cut down on their normal activity because of the dental problem. It appears that younger age groups, those with the lowest incomes, college educations, no dental insurance, oral pain and a history of visiting a hospital emergency room for a dental problem, were all more likely to report a dental disability day.
These data demonstrate the potential economic impacts of dental problems in Canada, yet they must be interpreted with caution because of the very low prevalence of the main outcome measure, the potential for selection bias and the relative inconsistency with existing historical estimates.