Neighborhood contexts and oral health outcomes in a pediatric population: An exploratory study
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Aims: This study aimed to explore the impacts of neighborhood-level socioeconomic contexts on the therapeutic and preventative dental quality outcome of children under 16 years. Materials and Methods: Anonymized billing data of 842 patients reporting to a university children’s dental over three years (March 2017–2020) met the inclusion criteria. Their access to care (OEVCH-A), topical fluoride application (TFL-CH-A) and dental treatment burden (TRT-CH-A) were determined by dental quality alliance (DQA) criteria. The three oral health variables were aggregated at the neighborhood level and analyzed with Canadian census data. Their partial postal code (FSA) was chosen as a neighborhood spatial unit and maps were created to visualize neighborhood-level differences. Results: The individual-level regression models showed significant negative associations between OEV-CH-A (p = 0.027) and TFL-CH-A (p = 0.001) and the cost of dental care. While there was no significant association between neighborhood-level sociodemographic variables and OEV-CH-A, TRT-CH-A showed a significant negative association at the neighborhood level with median household income and significant positive association with percentage of non-official first language (English or French) speakers. Conclusion: Initial analysis suggests differences exist in dental outcomes according to neighborhood-level sociodemographic variables, even when access to dental care is similar.
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Citation of this paper:
Podskalniy VA, Pani SC, Lee J, Vieira LAC, Perinpanayagam H. Neighborhood Contexts and Oral Health Outcomes in a Pediatric Population: An Exploratory Study. Children. 2021; 8(8):653. https://doi.org/10.3390/children8080653