Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
4839.0 - Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/11/2013   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product


DENTAL PROFESSIONALS


Visiting a dental professional for a regular check up is important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. While there are no official guidelines in Australia as to the recommended frequency of visiting a dental professional, most dental diseases are completely preventable and therefore early intervention can assist in promoting good oral health as well as overall health. This chapter presents data on people who saw a dental professional in the previous 12 months. Respondents were asked about the frequency of their visits, as well as about the services they had used and barriers to accessing care.

Nationally, nearly half of all people aged 15 years and over saw a dental professional at least once in the previous 12 months (49.4%). This proportion has remained constant over the last three years, 2011-12 (48.6%) and 2010-11 (49.4%). (Table 1)

As with GPs and medical specialists, more females than males saw a dental professional (53.0% compared with 45.7%). Those aged 85 and over (38.4%) and those aged 25-34 (40.6%) were the least likely to see a dental professional. (Table 2.2)

Graph Image for Proportion of persons 15 years and over, Visited a dental professional in the previous 12 months(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Includes dentist, dental hygienist and dental specialist

Source(s): Patient Experience Survey: Summary of Findings



Of the population who saw a dental professional in the previous 12 months, 89.6% visited a private dental clinic and 8.5% visited a government dental clinic. People living in the areas of most socio-economic disadvantage were more likely to visit a public dental clinic compared with those living in areas of least socio-economic disadvantage (18.5% compared with 2.7%). Similarly, people living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas of Australia were more likely to visit a public dental clinic compared with those living in major cities of Australia (12.0% compared with 7.4%). (Table 12.2)

FREQUENCY OF VISITS

Of the 9 million people aged 15 years and over who saw a dentist in the previous 12 months, 43.6% went once, 43.7% went two to three times and the remaining 12.8% of people saw a dentist four or more times. Those living in areas of most socio-economic disadvantage were more likely to see a dentist four or more times (15.9%) than those living in areas of least socio-economic disadvantage (10.4%). (Tables 12.1 and 12.2)

BARRIERS

One of the benefits of a household based survey is that data can be collected from those who did not access health services as well as from those that did. It is therefore possible to obtain information from people who may have needed to access a health service, but did not access this service, and the reasons they did not access the health service.

Of the 11 million people who needed to see a dental professional in the previous 12 months, almost one in five had delayed seeing or had not seen one in the previous 12 months because of the cost (18.4%). Females were more likely than males to delay seeing or not see a dental professional due to cost (19.6% compared with 17.0%). (Tables 11.1 and 11.2)

Graph Image for Proportion of persons 15 years and over, Delayed or did not see a dental professional due to cost in previous 12 months(a)

Footnote(s): Includes dentist, dental hygienist and dental specialist

Source(s): Patient Experience Survey: Summary of Results



People aged 25-34 were the most likely to delay seeing or not see a dental professional because of cost (27.4%). This proportion increased to nearly one in three for females aged 25-34 years (28.7%). (Table 11.2)

People living in the areas of most socio-economic disadvantage were more likely to delay seeing or not see a dental professional due to cost compared with those living in areas of least socio-economic disadvantage (23.8% compared with 12.3%). (Table 12.2)

Graph Image for Proportion of persons 15 year and over, Delayed or did not see a dental professional due to cost in previous 12 months(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Includes dentist, dental hygienist, and dental specialist for 2011 Socio-Economic Disadvantage: a lower Index of Disadvantage quintile (e.g. the first quintile) indicates an area with relatively greater disadvantage and a lack of advantage in general. A higher Index of Disadvantage (e.g. the fifth quintile) indicates an area with a relative lack of disadvantage and greater advantage in general.

Source(s): Patient Experience Survey: Summary of Findings



People living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas of Australia were more likely to delay seeing or not see a dental professional due to cost compared with those living in major cities (21.4% compared with 17.2%). (Table 12.2)

People with a long term health condition were more likely to delay seeing or not see a dental professional due to cost compared with those without a long term health condition (20.9% compared with 16.1%). (Table 12.2)


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.