Dental services utilization by women of childbearing age by socioeconomic status

Mary B. Kaylor, Barbara J. Polivka, Rosemary Chaudry, Pamela Salsberry, Alvin G. Wee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


For women of childbearing age, oral health not only affects their physical and psychological well-being but also that of their children. This study used the 2003-2004 Ohio Family Health Survey (N = 9,819) to examine dental need and utilization by women in Ohio. Predisposing, enabling, and need variables were examined as they effect dental health service utilization by women of childbearing age at different socioeconomic status (SES) levels. The proportion of women in the low SES group self reporting a dental need (18%) was 3 times that of the proportion of women in the higher SES group with a self reported need (6%). Results of bivariate analysis showed that having a dental visit in the past year varied significantly by SES, race, insurance status, provider density, and need. A racial disparity in dental service utilization was noted in the bivariate analysis of the middle SES group. While dental need and type of dental coverage varied by SES, both were significantly associated with utilization of dental services within all 3 SES categories in the logistic regressions. These results suggest that measures need to be implemented to meet the goal of increasing access and utilization of dental health services by low-income populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Childbearing women
  • Dental utilization
  • Low income
  • Oral health


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