The state of oral and dental health of the homeless and vagrant population of Montreal

J Can Dent Assoc. 1994 Dec;60(12):1061-5.


Not much is known about the state of oral and dental health of homeless and vagrant people in Montreal. However, a study conducted during April 1993, in conjunction with dental health month, has made it possible to undertake a better evaluation of their oral health status and to identify ways of making dental treatment available to them. Once the oral health status of this population is known, the official body responsible for homeless and vagrant individuals, the "Régie régionale Montréal-Centre," can be given possible solutions for their treatment and care. Most of the homeless are welfare recipients and have access to some basic benefits from this source. One of these benefits is free access to all assured basic dental services. These services are available after a six-month waiting period, and are provided by a dentist of the homeless person's choice. At the beginning of this study, the authors hypothesized that homeless people would prefer to be treated in the hostels and shelters where they sleep, which is currently the situation in Boston. But in 65 per cent of cases, their responses to a questionnaire administered as part of this study were quite different, and indicated that they would prefer to visit a private dentist of their choice. However, there is another important group (35 per cent) who wish to receive dental treatment in the hostels they presently frequent. Any proposed solution should take into consideration both groups of homeless and vagrant persons.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Dental Health Services / economics
  • Dental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Dentist-Patient Relations
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Oral Hygiene / statistics & numerical data
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health