A survey of preceived oral health needs of homebound patients

J Public Health Dent. 1979 Winter;39(1):7-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.1979.tb01832.x.


1. While almost 60 percent of all patients reported dental needs, it is assumed that actual needs were in fact considerably higher. Problems relating to dentures were the most freqeuntly expressed complaint. 2. A strong relation existed between the ability of homebound patients to get to a dentist and the time elapsed since last dental visit. Number of teeth was a significant determinant in frequency of seeking care. Persons with teeth or dentures sought treatment more often than those who were edentulous. Pain was the only variable for which a difference was noted between the two groups in the effect on time of last dental visit. 3. The study revealed an inaccessibility of dental care for the majority of patients confined to their homes. Ability to get to the dentist was identified as a major barrier to care for the homebound. The delivery of dental services to such patients in their immediate surroundings, by specially trained dental professionals using mobile units, must therefore be seriously considered as a means for improving access to care for this population.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dental Care
  • Dental Health Services*
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Female
  • Health Planning*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Diseases / therapy
  • Oral Health
  • Pain Management