Oral health needs, dental care utilization, and quality of life perceptions among Oregonian seniors

Richie Kohli, Harjit S. Sehgal, Sandra Nelson, Eli Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: For a relevant planning process and advocate for improvement in oral health conditions of the senior population up-to-date data are necessary. The objective of this study was to assess the oral health status, dental care utilization and quality of life perceptions of seniors in Clackamas County in Oregon. Methods: Data were collected in a cross-sectional study on institutionalized and community dwelling older adults where participants completed a self-reported oral health survey, the short-form Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14 questionnaire) and had clinical screenings. Results: Overall, the participants (n = 177) reported mean OHIP-14 score of 0.6 ± 1.1, with “physical pain” as the highest scored domain. Seniors who were white, had teeth, dental insurance, were having a regular dentist and living in the community were 4.2 to 33.1 times more likely to visit the dentist in the previous 12 months compared to those respondents who were nonwhite, edentulous, uninsured, not having a regular dentist and living in long-term care facility (r2 = 0.67, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Clackamas county senior population has considerable oral health needs, dental utilization, and quality of life issues. Better dental insurance plans, health literacy opportunities and culturally competent dental providers may help to improve the oral health situation and reduce barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalSpecial Care in Dentistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017



  • dental care utilization
  • oral health
  • quality of life
  • seniors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

Cite this