Prevalence and Factors Associated with Visiting the Dentist Only for Emergency Care Among Indigenous People in Ontario


Ontario has the largest Indigenous population in Canada. This study aims to examine the prevalence and factors associated with poor dental care use amongst the Indigenous in Ontario. Data from the 2014 cycle of the Canadian Community Health Survey was used. The main outcome was defined as visiting the dentist only for emergency care. Stepwise multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess the association between socio-demographic, socio-economic, and the health related factors and emergency dental care use. 28% of the participants reported visiting the dentist only for emergencies. First Nations people were at increased odds of having poor dental care (OR 2.01, CI 1.12–3.95). Additionally, being male, a smoker, having fair/poor health and lacking dental insurance puts the Indigenous Ontarians at increased odds of having the outcome. Improvements to the current social benefit programs could help better cater to the needs of this population.

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Canadian Community Health Survey


Confidence interval


Odds ratio


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We are grateful for the participants of the CCHS cycle 2014 and Statistics Canada, who developed and implemented the CCHS survey. Although the research and analysis are based on data from Statistics Canada, the opinions expressed in this paper do not represent the views of Statistics Canada. The authors thank Mr. Chang Lin (Data Analyst, York Region-Statistics Canada Research Data Centre) for providing a supportive work place and assistance on this project.

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Correspondence to Vrati M. Mehra.

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Mehra, V.M., Ali-Hassan, Y., Tamim, H. et al. Prevalence and Factors Associated with Visiting the Dentist Only for Emergency Care Among Indigenous People in Ontario. J Immigrant Minority Health 22, 96–101 (2020).

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  • Dental care
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Prevalence
  • Social determinants
  • Ontario