Routine dental visits are associated with tooth retention in Brazilian adults: the Pró-Saúde study

Joana Cunha-Cruz, Paulo Nadanovsky, Eduardo Faerstein, Claudia S Lopes
Journal of Public Health Dentistry 2004, 64 (4): 216-22

OBJECTIVE: This study investigates the effect of routine visits for dental check-up on tooth loss.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional study of university employees, the Rio de Janeiro Pró-Saúde Study, tooth loss was measured as the reported number of missing teeth and routine dental visit as the reported pattern and frequency of visits to the dentist.

RESULTS: Data were obtained from 4,030 individuals (91% of eligible subjects). Odds ratio of excessive tooth loss ("many" or "all" teeth lost) was 2.20 (95% confidence interval [CI]=1.79, 2.72) for subjects who reported visiting the dentist only when in trouble and 1.17 (95% CI=0.90, 1.51) for subjects who reported visiting for routine dental checks every two years or less frequently, compared with those who reported visiting for dental checks at least annually, after controlling for age, sex, education, income, race, smoking, and diet.

CONCLUSIONS: There was a positive effect of routine visits for dental check-up on maintaining teeth. This effect was the same for one year and two years or longer intervals between check-ups.

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