Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Economic Barriers Keep More African Americans Away From The Dentist For Routine Care Than Whites, A New U-M Study Shows

Date:
March 2, 1999
Source:
University Of Michigan
Summary:
Economic barriers keep more African Americans away from the dentist for routine care than whites, a new U-M study shows.

ANN ARBOR---A University of Michigan study published in the new issue of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry shows that African Americans and whites have similar dental health care habits, but African Americans see the dentist less often for routine visits.

The study found that 13 percent of African Americans had never visited a dentist for a routine visit, compared with 1 percent of whites. African Americans said the lack of money or dental insurance were reasons why they avoid routine visits.

"Those figures really concern me. Interventions are needed to reach out to those who only use dental services for acute problems and those who never receive dental care," said David L. Ronis, senior author of the study titled, "Preventive Oral Health Behaviors among African-Americans and Whites in Detroit."

Ronis, a research scientist with the U-M School of Nursing and the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Ann Arbor, conducted this study for the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR) in conjunction with he U-M School of Dentistry.

Ronis and his colleagues compared the oral health behaviors of African Americans and whites. Personal interviews were conducted with 384 African Americans and 358 white adults living in the Detroit tri-county area. Research subjects, who were 18 years old or older, were asked about their brushing and flossing habits and dental visits.

African Americans in the study tended to have lower family incomes; 37 percent of African Americans and 16 percent of whites had family incomes of less than $20,000 annually.

African Americans were much more likely than whites to depend on Medicaid for dental insurance coverage (13 percent vs. 2 percent). Because Medicaid payments to dentists are low, some dentists avoid treating Medicaid patients, Ronis said.

"We found that people who were on Medicaid were least likely to get regular checkups, even less likely than people who didn't have insurance. Part of the problem might be finding a provider who will accept Medicaid. Increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates would probably increase access to care for people."

There was virtually no difference in how often African Americans or whites brushed and flossed their teeth. More than 95 percent of both groups said they brushed daily; however, whites were more likely to brush all parts of their teeth (92 percent of whites, compared with 85 percent of African Americans). African Americans and whites flossed just as often; however, whites more likely to floss all of their teeth (64 percent of whites and 47 percent of African Americans).

"Our study shows that much of the difference in preventive oral health behavior can be explained by income. If African Americans and whites had the same socioeconomic status, many of these differences in oral health behaviors probably wouldn't exist,'' Ronis said.

This study is co-authored by W. Paul Lang, associate professor, U-M School of Dentistry, who was principal investigator of the project; Cathy L. Antonakos, assistant research scientist with the U-M School of Nursing and formerly with ISR; and Wenche S. Borgnakke, senior health science research associate, U-M School of Dentistry.

This ISR-School of Dentistry project was funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan. "Economic Barriers Keep More African Americans Away From The Dentist For Routine Care Than Whites, A New U-M Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990301103634.htm>.
University Of Michigan. (1999, March 2). Economic Barriers Keep More African Americans Away From The Dentist For Routine Care Than Whites, A New U-M Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990301103634.htm
University Of Michigan. "Economic Barriers Keep More African Americans Away From The Dentist For Routine Care Than Whites, A New U-M Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990301103634.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins