Current Status Of Dental Programs Essay
• To describe the current status of the utilization of dental programs in Hamilton by seniors.
• To investigate the reasons why seniors do not seek dental care.
• To provide recommendations that would increase the utilization of dental programs in Hamilton by seniors.
BACKGROUND & CURRENT STATUS
Seniors have been identified as a high risk group for dental disease. (Hamilton Oral Health Report 2013)Although they are more likely to have dental disease they are less likely to seek regular care. (Paper 7) In the city of Hamilton there are approximately 115,000 seniors. Of these 55% have had a dental visit in the previous 12 months and 36% visit the dentist for emergencies only. The current dental programs available to seniors are the Dental Health Bus, Special Supports Program, Public Health Services Dental Clinic and Ontario Works. These programs primarily address financial and physical barriers to accessing dental care but are not targeted specifically for seniors. Insert usage stats
BARRIERS TO ACCESSING DENTAL CARE
The literature has shown that there are many factors that influence why seniors do not seek dental care. They will be addressed here as financial, physical and psychosocial barriers.
It has been shown that lack of dental insurance is related to decreased dental service utilization. (Paper 11) As older adults transition into retirement many lose their private insurance plans. The Canadian Health Measures Survey Summary Report states…