Background: Gender differences in oral health-related quality of life and the fear of dental pain in seeking and receiving preventive dental care have been recognized and documented. Preventive dental treatment procedures (PDTPs) are commonly accepted as the primary approach to prevent dental disease.
Objective: We examined whether the likelihood of receiving PDTPs differed by gender in adult patients receiving dental care at a dental training institution in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Methods: Data from the Marquette University School of Dentistry electronic patient management database for 2001 through 2002 were analyzed. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariable analyses were performed. The preventive procedures used in the study were those coded in accordance with the American Dental Association's classification system: D1110 (adult prophylaxis: professional cleaning and polishing of the teeth), D1204 (adult topical application of fluoride), D1205 (adult topical application of fluoride plus prophylaxis), and D1330 (oral hygiene instruction).
Results: Of the 1563 consecutive patient records (888 women, 675 men) reviewed for the years 2001-2002, 794 individuals (51%), aged 18 to 60 years, were identified as having received PDTPs. At the bivariate level, a significant gender difference in the receipt of PDTPs was identified (423 women [48%] vs 371 men [55%]; P = 0.004). In the multivariable analyses, age, race/ethnicity, marital status, poverty level, and health insurance type (public, private, none) were significantly associated with the receipt of PDTPs (all, P < 0.05), but gender was not.
Conclusions: Gender differences in receiving PDTPs were not found in this dental school patient population. Receipt of PDTPs was associated with other demographic factors such as age, race/ethnicity, marital status, income level, and health insurance.