Assessment of demand for and utilization of dental services by insurance coverage in a developing oral health care system
Objectives This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between demand for and utilization of dental services by insurance coverage
among adults in Iran.
Methods A cross-sectional survey based on telephone interviews was done. A total of 6,029 adults participated in this study conducted in
Iran. The interviews were carried out using a structured questionnaire and covered dental visits, demographics and socio-economic
Results Of 6,029 participants, 86% reported having health insurance, 58% had public, and 28% had both public and commercial insurance.
Those with both public and commercial insurance coverage had higher odds for dental visits within the past 12 months [odds ratio (OR) =
1.5], and for dental check-ups (OR = 1.5). Receipt of restorative and expensive services (OR = 1.4) was more likely by those with both public
and commercial insurance. Tooth extraction was more likely in subjects with no insurance coverage (OR = 1.6).
Conclusion This study revealed a positive relationship between insurance coverage and demand for and utilization of dental services in a
country with a developing health care system.