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The Effects of National Health Insurance Denture Coverage Policies for the Elderly on the Unmet Dental Needs of the Edentulous Elderly
J Dent Hyg Sci 2018;18:182-7
Published online June 30, 2018;  https://doi.org/10.17135/jdhs.2018.18.3.182
© 2018 Korean Society of Dental Hygiene Science.

Eunsuk Ahn, Ji-Min Hwang1, and Ji-Hyoung Han2,†

Department of Dental Hygiene, Kyungbok University, Pocheon 11138,
1Department of Dental Hygiene, Baekseok Culture University, Cheonan 31065,
2Department of Dental Hygiene, Suwon Science College, Hwaseong 18516, Korea
Correspondence to: Ji-Hyoung Han
Department of Dental Hygiene, Suwon Science College, 288 Seja-ro, Jeongnam-myeon, Hwaseong 18516, Korea
Tel: +82-31-350-2418, Fax: +82-31-350-2075, E-mail: hanjh@ssc.ac.kr, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1613-2879
Received May 8, 2018; Revised May 21, 2018; Accepted May 21, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract
As the elderly population increases, they are increasingly affected by oral health problems. Therefore, efforts are being made to improve the oral health of older people, alleviate mental discomfort, and reduce unmet dental needs. This study was conducted to confirm the relationship between the National Health Insurance Elderly Denture Coverage and the unmet dental need for the edentulous elderly, as part of the protection policy. We analyzed the 2011 and 2013 Community Health Survey data of the edentulous elderly, aged 75 years or older, before 2012. In order to more precisely confirm the effects of the denture donation policy on unmet dental care, basic life recipients who were subject to the free elderly prosthetic project were excluded from the analysis. The final analysis included 20,400 subjects. According to our investigation of the factors that affect the unmet dental needs of the elderly, the National Health Insurance Elderly Denture Coverage did not affect unmet dental needs. The statistically significant variables that affected the unmet dental needs of the elderly were education and income levels, which are representative socioeconomic status variables. The lower the level of education, the unhealthier the dental care experience, and income levels showed a similar tendency. The elderly who have a low socioeconomic status are more likely to experience unmet dental needs because they lack the knowledge and socioeconomic ability to pay for dental care. Therefore, the policy for health protection of the entire elderly population should be continuously expanded. In addition, the socioeconomically vulnerable groups may have health problems due to the restriction of medical use, which may lead to quality of life deterioration.
Keywords : Dentures, Elderly, National Health Insurance Coverage, Unmet need


June 2018, 18 (3)
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