Community Dental Health

cover art

Cover Date:
March 2015
Print ISSN:
0265 539X

Treatment provided in the Public Dental Service in Finland in 2009

© BASCD 2015 doi:10.1922/CDH_3475Widström05

Treatment provided in the Public Dental Service in Finland in 2009
E. Widström, J. Linden, H. Tiira, T.T. Seppälä and M. Ekqvist

Objectives: To analyse treatment measures provided in the Public Dental Service (PDS) and to discuss the therapy given against treatment needs as expressed in the national clinical epidemiological studies. Methods: In 2009, the Chief Dentists of the PDS units collected data from their local registers on patients and treatment provided. Data were obtained from 166 PDS units (86%). Treatment patterns were compared between age groups, provider groups and geographical areas using chi-square tests. Results: Altogether 8.9 million treatments were provided for 1.7 million patients. Examinations, restorative treatment and anaesthesia accounted for 61.3% of all treatments. Preventive measures (8.4%) and periodontal treatment (6.3%) were small proportions of the total. Prosthetic treatment was uncommon (0.5%). Working age adults received half of all treatments (53.2%), the young a third (36.4%) and the elderly 10.4%. Dental hygienists or dental assistants provided 29.7% of all treatment for children and adolescents, 11.1% for adults and 14.1% for the elderly. Conclusion: Relatively healthy children had plenty of examinations and preventive measures, and adults had mostly restorative care when their needs were more periodontal and prosthetic care, indicating that treatment given was not fully in line with needs.

Key words: health services research, register study, treatment measures, dentists, dental hygienists, Public Dental Service, Finland

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E. Widström, J. Linden, H. Tiira, T.T. Seppälä, M. Ekqvist

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