Association between routine visits for dental checkup and self-perceived oral health in an adult population in Rio de Janeiro: the Pró-Saúde Study.Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2007 Oct; 35(5):393-400.CD
To investigate the association between routine visits for dental checkup and self-perceived oral health.
Cross-sectional data from a study of university employees in Rio de Janeiro - The Pró-Saúde Study. Self-perceived oral health and the reported pattern and frequency of visits to the dentist were obtained through a multidimensional self-administered questionnaire.
Data were obtained from 3252 participants. When compared with individuals who reported self-perceived oral health as good ('very good', 'good' or 'fair') individuals who reported self-perceived oral health as bad ('bad' or 'very bad') were significantly more likely to be older, male, less educated, poorer; they also reported more frequently to have lost more teeth and not visiting the dentist for routine dental 'checkup'. Among those who reported visiting for dental checks at least annually, 3% reported bad oral health, as opposed to 15% among those who reported visiting the dentist only when in trouble. Compared with those who reported visiting the dentist at least annually, odds ratio of bad oral health was 3.9 (95% CI, 2.68-5.67) for subjects who reported visiting only when in trouble, 2.6 (95% CI, 1.51-4.62) who reported visiting for dental checks less frequently than once every 2 years, and 1.4 (95% CI, 0.77-2.52) for subjects who reported visiting for dental checks once every 2 years, after controlling for sex, age, education, income and tooth loss.
Not visiting the dentist for a routine dental check increased the chance of reporting one's own oral health as bad. In any case, the habit of visiting for dental 'checkup, once per year or once every 2 years was associated with nearly all the individuals perceiving his/her oral health positively. However, in order to gather more solid scientific data to guide public policies it is necessary to perform longitudinal studies, especially experiments in different populations focused mainly on the socioeconomic characteristics and dental clinical conditions.