December 2014

Volume 31, Issue 4

Dentists’ views on the effects of changing economic conditions on dental services provided for children and adolescents in Iceland

Authors: N.J. Wang E.G. Sveinsdottir
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3405Sveinsdottir05

Abstract

Dentists’ views on the effects of changing economic conditions on dental services provided for children and adolescents in Iceland In 2008, Iceland experienced a major financial crisis, with serious effects on the economy of the country and its inhabitants. Objective: To describe the opinions of dentists in Iceland regarding the influence of economic changes on the demand for dental health services for children and adolescents, aged 0-18 years, and also to describe the preventive dental care the dentists reported providing for children and adolescents. Basic research design and participants: Questionnaires were sent by electronic mail to all dentists in Iceland in January 2013. Of the dentists working with children, 161 (62%) returned the questionnaire. Results: Important findings were that 119 (74%) of the respondents reported increased caries experience in children and adolescents and 150 (93%) reported that decreased reimbursement for dental treatment of children in recent years had affected the dental health of most or some children and adolescents. Most dentists reported reduced parental demand for most aspects of caries prevention and treatment, apart from treatment for acute dental pain. The mean interval between dental visits was reported to be 9.4 months (sd 2.8) and the mean maximal interval 12.1 months (sd 2.8). The mean proportion of working time allocated for caries preventive services was reported to be 31% (sd 21). Conclusions: The results indicate a contrast between increased need for children´s dental care perceived by the dentists and reduced demand for care from the parents. This may be a temporary phenomenon, as the economic crisis passes, reimbursement for dental care may increase. Key words: dental health services, economic recession, Iceland, prevention

£10 single article

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