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.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Canadian Community Health Survey
Chung H, Ye M, Hanson C, Oladokun O, Campbell MJ, Kramer G, Lehmann OJ. Disparities in healthcare utilisation rates for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Albertan residents, 1997–2006: a population database study. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(11):e48355.
Canadian Dental Association. Position paper on access to oral health care for Canadians. Ottawa: Canadian Dental Association; 2010.
Statistics Canada, 2016 Census data tables. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-404-X2016001. Ottawa, ON. Data products, 2016 Census.
Health Canada. Inuit oral health survey 2008–2009. Ottawa: Minister of. Public Works and Government Services Canada; 2011. In The rise and fall of dental therapy in Canada: a policy analysis and assessment of equity of access to oral health care for Inuit and First Nations communities.
The First Nations Information Governance Centre. Report on the Findings of the First Nations Oral Health Survey (FNOHS) 2009–10. Ottawa: The First Nations Information Governance Centre; 2012.
Riley P, Worthington HV, Clarkson JE, Beirne PV. Recall intervals for oral health in primary care patients. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004346.pub4.
Crocombe LA, Broadbent JM, Thomson M, Brennan DS, Poulton R. Impact of dental visiting trajectory patterns on clinical oral health and oral health- related quality of life. J Public Health Dent. 2012;72:36–44.
McGrath C, Bedi R. Can dental attendance improve quality of life? Br Dent J. 2001;190:262–4.
Osterberg T, Lundgren M, Emilson CG, Sundh V, Birkhed D, Steen B. Utilization of dental services in relation to socioeconomic and health factors in the middle-aged and elderly Swedish population. Acta Odontol Scand. 1998;56(1):41–7.
Kronström M, Palmqvist S, Söderfeldt B, Vigild M. Utilization of dental health services among middle-aged people in Sweden and Denmark. Acta Odontol Scand. 2002 Oct;60(5):276–80.
Mumcu G, Sur H, Yildirim C, Soylemez D, Atli H, Hayran O. Utilisation of dental services in Turkey: a cross-sectional survey. Int Dent J. 2004;54(2):90–6.
Zangiabadi S, Costanian C, Tamim H. Dental care use in Ontario: the Canadian community health survey (CCHS). BMC Oral Health. 2017;17(1):165.
Katryn Blanchard A, Wang X, El-Gabalawy H, Tan Q, Orr P, Elias B, Rawsthorne P, Hart D, Chubey S, Bernstein C. Oral health in a First Nations and a non-Aboriginal population in Manitoba. Int J Circum Health. 2012;71(1):17394.
Mejia GC, Parker EJ, Jamieson LM. An introduction to oral health inequalities among Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. Int Dent J. 2010;60(3 Suppl 2):212–5. (Review).
Jamieson LM, Elani HW, Mejia GC, Ju X, Kawachi I, Harper S, Thomson WM, Kaufman JS. Inequalities in indigenous oral health: findings from Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. J Dent Res. 2016;95(12):1375–80. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022034516658233. Epub 2016 Jul 28. Erratum in: J Dent Res. 2017;96(5):595.
The Government of Canada. Dental Benefits Guide: Non-Insured Health Benefits Program. 2019. Retrieved from Government of Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/indigenous-services-canada/services/first-nations-inuit-health/reports-publications/non-insured-health-benefits/dental-benefits-guide-non-insured-health-benefits-program.html.
Lawrence HP. Oral health interventions among Indigenous populations in Canada. Int Dent J. 2010;60(3S2):229–34.
Lawrence HP, Cidro J, Isaac-Mann S, Peressini S, Maar M, Schroth RJ, Gordon JN, Hoffman-Goetz L, Broughton JR, Jamieson L. Racism and oral health outcomes among pregnant Canadian aboriginal women. J Heal Care Poor Underserved. 2016;27(1):178–206.
Cavin L. Elizabeth. Culturally_safe_oral_health_ca.pdf. Can J Dent Hyg. 2015;49:21.
Slater PJ. Patterns of access to public oral health care in Queensland by gender, indigenous status and rurality. Aust J Dent. 2001;46:122–33.
Allan B, Smylie J. First Peoples, second class treatment: the role of racism in the health and well- being of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Toronto: Wellesley Institute; 2015. http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Summary-First-Peoples-Second-Class-Treatment-Final.pdf.
Jamieson LM, Paradies YC, Gunthorpe W, et al. Oral health and social and emotional well- being in a birth cohort of Aboriginal Australian young adults. BMC PH. 2011;19(11):656.
Jamieson LM, Steffens M, Paradies YC. Associations between discrimination and dental visiting behaviours in an Aboriginal Australian birth cohort. Aust NZ J Public Health. 2013;37(1):92–3.
Ben J, Jamieson LM, Parker EJ, et al. Experience of racism and tooth brushing among pregnant Aboriginal Australians: exploring psychosocial mediators. Comm Dent Health. 2014;31(3):145–52.
Ben J, Paradies Y, Priest N, et al. Self- reported racism and experience of toothache among pregnant Aboriginal Australians: the role of perceived stress, sense of control, and social support. J Public Health Dent. 2014;74(4):301–9.
Jiang Y, Okoro CA, Oh J, Fuller DL. Peer reviewed: sociodemographic and health-related risk factors associated with tooth loss among adults in Rhode Island. Prev Chron Dis. 2013;10:E45.
Gupta B, Bray F, Kumar N, Johnson NW. Associations between oral hygiene habits, diet, tobacco and alcohol and risk of oral cancer: a case-control study from India. Can Epidemiol. 2017;51:7–14.
Savolainen J, Suominen-Taipale A, Uutela A, Aromaa A, Härkänen T, Knuuttila M. Sense of coherence associates with oral and general health behaviours. Commun Dent Health. 2009;26(4):197–203.
Adelson N. The embodiment of inequity: health disparities in aboriginal Canada. Can J Public Health. 2005;96:545–59.
Dasanayake AP, Warnakulasuriya S, Harris CK, Cooper DJ, Peters TJ, Gelbier S. Tooth decay in alcohol abusers compared to alcohol and drug abusers. Int J Dent. 2010. https://doi.org/10.1155/2010/786503
Thompson B, Cooney P, Lawrence H, Ravaghi V, Quiñonez C. The potential oral health impact of cost barriers to dental care: findings from a Canadian population-based study. BMC Oral Health. 2014;14:78.
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.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
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). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-019-00872-y
- Dental care
- Indigenous peoples
- Social determinants