The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors influencing the pattern (amount and types) of dental care provided to dental visitors participating in the baseline stage of the Ontario Study of the Oral Health of Older Adults.
We interviewed and examined older adults from four municipalities in Ontario and obtained dental service records for the previous two years for those reporting a dental visit. Individual services and their corresponding time and values were aggregated into categories. We compared the pattern of care for dentate and edentulous subjects, and by age, municipality of residence, and social, demographic and economic characteristics.
The 473 subjects received 5,031 services, more than four hours of dental care per subject over the two years. The 29 edentulous subjects received about one-third the number of services compared with the dentate; however, there were no differences in relative time units (RTUs) or relative value units (RVUs). Among the dentate the amount of care (RVUs) varied by municipality of residence and by visiting behavior, but not by age, income, or other socioeconomic variables.
Both dentate and edentulous visitors received over two hours of care per person per year. Dental care patterns were influenced by dental status, area of residence, and visiting behaviors.