Published Papers - Abstract 349

Sibbritt D, Byles J & Cockrell D. Prevalence and characteristics of older Australian women who consult dentists. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 2007; 15(6): 387-388

Poor oral health carries a high burden of illness, particularly among older people, but preventative and treatment dentistry can significantly reduce this burden. However, access to dental care might present a barrier for non-urban residents in obtaining dental care. A recent study of older Western Australians identified that visits to a dentist are lower for those residing in nonurban areas (44%) compared with urban areas (65%). Other factors influencing higher levels of dental service use among older adults are: higher levels of income and education, being female, married or defacto, having private health insurance, non-smokers and those withhigher levels of physical activity. The aim of this research was to report the prevalence and characteristics of women from a nationally representative sample, the older cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, who had consulted a dentist.