Accessing primary dental care in three London boroughs

T. Adams, Ruth Freeman, S. Gelbier, B. Gibson, A. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate and identify factors that may influence individuals' ability to access primary health care services. Design: Cross-sectional study Setting: Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham, Subjects: A 0.1 per cent random sample of people aged 18 years and over in the population of 626,621 people in the three boroughs. Main outcome measures: Demographic as well as psychosocial profile of the sample, perceptions of their dental health needs, accessed dental care. Results: The results indicated that people believed that their oral health was good. The majority of the sample had attended for dental care within the previous year and were registered with a general dental practitioner. Accessing dental care was related to age, social class, borough of residence, dentate status and dental phobia status. In addition subjects experiencing problems with their teeth gained access to care more readily than others. This was related to social class. Accessing dental care was predicted by dental care being provided by a general dental practitioner, experiencing problems with teeth and not being dentally phobic. Conclusions: The findings suggest that psychosocial factors together with dental health status can act as determinants when accessing primary dental services. It is considered that family health services authorities should be aware of these influences when developing and monitoring dental health services, in order to make them responsive and sensitive to the needs of the people whom they serve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-112
Number of pages5
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997


  • Accessibility
  • Barriers
  • Primary dental care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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