Welfare dental intervention improves employment and quality of life

J Dent Res. 2006 Jan;85(1):79-84. doi: 10.1177/154405910608500114.


Chronic, untreated oral disease adversely affects one's systemic health, quality of life, and economic productivity. This study evaluated the effect of rehabilitative dental treatment on the oral-health-related quality of life and employment of welfare recipients. Three hundred and seventy-seven participants in a novel welfare dental program received oral examinations, questionnaires, and rehabilitative dental treatment. Seventy-nine percent of participants exhibited improvement in their oral-health-related quality-of-life scores following dental treatment. Improved OHIP-14 change scores were associated with being Caucasian or African-American, initial poor general health, severity of treatment urgency, worse baseline oral-health-related quality-of-life scores, subsequent patient satisfaction with the Dental Program, and resolution of their chief complaint (all p < 0.04). Those who completed their dental treatment were twice as likely to achieve a favorable/neutral employment outcome (OR = 2.01, 95%CI = 1.12, 3.62). Thus, oral health improved the quality of life and employment outcome for this welfare population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Black or African American
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dental Care*
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Oral Health
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life*
  • San Francisco
  • Social Welfare*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • White People