UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Prevalence of and factors associated with dental service utilization among early elderly in Lithuania Drachev, Sergei N.; Puriene, Alina; Aleksejuniene, Jolanta; Stankeviciene, Indre; Stangvaltaite-Mouhat, Lina


Background There is no recent information about dental service utilization (DSU) among elderly in Lithuania. We examined DSU and its associated factors in Lithuanian early elderly based on the Andersen’s behavioural model. Methods The cross-sectional study conducted in 2017–2019 included a nationally representative stratified sample of 370 Lithuanian early elderly aged 65–74 years (response rate of 54.5%). Information on predisposing factors (age, sex, nationality and education), enabling factor (residence), need-based factors (status of teeth, oral pain or discomfort, and dry mouth), general health, personal health practices and perceived stress was obtained from a structured, self-administered questionnaire. Clinically-assessed need-based factors included number of missing teeth and dental treatment need. Multivariable Poisson regression with robust variance estimates was used. Results A total of 239 study participants (64.6%) reported a dental visit during the last year and 338 (91.4%) needed dental treatments. A higher level of education (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 1.21, 95% confidence interval [CI]:1.04–1.40), pain or discomfort in teeth/mouth (aPR = 1.35, 95%CI: 1.13–1.62) and lower number of missing teeth (aPR = 0.99, 95%CI: 0.98–1.00) were associated with DSU. Conclusions Even though majority of early elderly needed dental treatments, only two-thirds visited a dentist during the last year. Predisposing and need-based factors were significant predictors of having a dental visit in the last year. A national oral health program for Lithuanian elderly with the focus on regular preventive dental check-ups is needed. More studies, both quantitative and qualitative, are warranted to investigate in depth the barriers for DSU among elderly in Lithuania.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)