Despite the biological and clinical advances in oral health, dental disease is still a problem for those of low socioeconomic (SE) status, as well as racial and ethnic minorities. In this study, we use the Andersen Behavioral Model of predisposing, enabling, and need factors to examine the effects of race, ethnicity, and income on dental care utilization. Using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) household component and dental event data (n=8,685), we tested the hypothesis that longer survival or delay in dental care utilization is associated with both minority and lowered SE statuses. Analyses confirm that minority status, income, and education, are predictive of the delay in dental care utilization. This study lends support to the theorized assumption that there are racial and ethnic differences in the pattern of dental care utilization and that these differences as well as other factors contribute to disparity in dental care utilization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Care Planning
- Community and Home Care