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The 1999 National Dental Telephone Interview Survey was conducted in all States and Territories and resulted in 7,829 participants, with a national participation rate of 56.6%.
The survey included questions on whether the respondent had any natural teeth, the number of teeth (or missing teeth) and denture wearing.
An examination of access problems encountered by survey respondents and barriers to the receipt of dental care is presented in Chapter 4. The range of measures of access to services are described by age groups, income levels, card status, location and State/Territory.
The social impact of oral health on an individual was assessed with questions on toothache, dental appearance, and food avoidance.
A sizeable minority dentate Australian adults hold dental insurance. This includes both cardholders and non-cardholders. Dental insurance was associated with a more favourable pattern of visiting and types of treatment received.
Affordability and hardship encountered in purchasing dental services influences the use of private dental services by cardholders and non-cardholders. While affordability and hardship will influence access, they will also reflect the coverage and continuity of public- funded dental care for cardholders.
Perception of the need for dental treatment acts both as an important predictor of the use of dental services, and also as an outcome measure of the success of dental programs.
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