Human Development Index, Ratio of Dentists and Inhabitants, and the Decayed, Missing or Filled Teeth Index in Large Cities
Fabio A Pereira, Iranilda A de Mendonça, Renata I Werneck, Simone T Moysés, Samuel J Moysés
Dental caries, Epidemiology, Human development, Social determinants
Citation Information :
Pereira FA, de Mendonça IA, Werneck RI, Moysés ST, Moysés SJ. Human Development Index, Ratio of Dentists and Inhabitants, and the Decayed, Missing or Filled Teeth Index in Large Cities. J Contemp Dent Pract 2018; 19 (11):1363-1369.
Aim: This study aimed to investigate the associations between human development and the demographic ratio of dentists with the prevalence of dental caries at 12 years of age in large Brazilian cities.
Materials and methods: Data were collected from 27 state capitals, Secondary databases were used: the municipal human development index (MDHI); the ratio of dentists qualified to exercise their profession according to the number of inhabitants; and the decayed, missing or filled teeth index (DMFT). Pearson correlation coefficient analysis and multiple logarithmic regression analysis were performed.
Results: The MDHI showed a strong correlation with DMFT and explained 48.1% of the variation in the cities. The ratio of dentists to the number of inhabitants displayed an insignificant, weak correlation with the variations in the DMFT.
Conclusion: Social factors strongly influence the oral health/ disease process in Brazilian capitals, thus actions are needed for the promotion of health at more distal, or structural levels that modify the environment, thus enabling healthier choices for individuals. These results challenge traditional beliefs that only the ratio of professional dentists to inhabitants and the provision of dental services have beneficial effects on the prevention and control of oral health problems.
Clinical significance: The prevalence of dental caries is strongly correlated with social factors, as the MDHI.
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