Oral Health and Access to Dental Care in Rural Areas
Literature describing the oral health status of rural residents is limited, but suggests that rural residents have poorer oral health status than urban residents. Reasons for the poorer health status may include barriers to access for regular dental care among rural residents. Barriers expected to be more common among rural residents as compared to urban residents include the availability of dentists, the lack of dental insurance, other financial barriers, and cultural barriers. The objectives of this study are to 1) compare the oral health status and access to dental care between rural and urban residents, 2) analyze the effect of market area and individual characteristics on access to dental care and oral health status among rural populations.
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