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The Impact of Expanded National Health Insurance Coverage of Dentures and Dental Implants on Dental Care Utilization among Older Adults in South Korea: A Study Based on the Korean Health Panel Survey

Department of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Gangneung-Wonju National University & Research Institute of Oral Science, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung-si 25457, Korea
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6417; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176417
Received: 10 August 2020 / Revised: 29 August 2020 / Accepted: 1 September 2020 / Published: 3 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Oral Health)
In South Korea, the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) began its coverage of dentures and dental implants for older people in 2012 and 2014, respectively. This study aimed to investigate the impact of these policies on dental care utilization among people aged 65 years or older according to their sociodemographic characteristics. Data were collected from the Korea Health Panel Survey (KHP; years 2012 and 2015). The statistical significance of the relationships between sociodemographic characteristics and the use of outpatient dental care, denture, and dental implant were analyzed. Results showed an increase of 5.7%, 1.4%, and 2.8% in the use of outpatient dental care, denture, and dental implant, respectively, over the course of three years. Including dentures increased its use by 2.5–3.7 times among people aged 70 years or older. Including dental implants alleviated the disparities among older adults based on age groups and duration of education, except those among uneducated people; however, it caused inequity according to household income. Some Korean older adults remain neglected from the benefits of the expanded NHIS. Therefore, older adults’ access to dental care should be enhanced by the implementation of policies to promote oral health care utilization, dental prosthetic services, and older adults’ insurance coverage. View Full-Text
Keywords: dental care utilization; dental implant; denture; older adults; insurance coverage dental care utilization; dental implant; denture; older adults; insurance coverage
MDPI and ACS Style

Choi, J.-S.; Jung, S.-H. The Impact of Expanded National Health Insurance Coverage of Dentures and Dental Implants on Dental Care Utilization among Older Adults in South Korea: A Study Based on the Korean Health Panel Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6417.

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