Good dental health is important to overall health and well-being; good dental hygiene habits and regular dental checkups help to prevent dental health issues.
However, research shows that income and dental insurance play a key role in accessing dental health services (Duncan & Bonner, 2014).
Individuals living in low-income households have to prioritize their financial resources in order to cover the cost of dental checkups and necessary treatment.
This lack of access to dental care results in a greater burden of disease and additional strain on the health care system, as individuals with dental health needs visit the emergency department seeking relief.
The 2016 Community Needs Assessment (CNA) identified the dental health of adults in Windsor-Essex as a concern, and the second most reported service need for residents. In response, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) developed a survey to explore the dental needs and barriers for adults and seniors in Windsor and Essex County.
- 1,594 respondents completed the Dental Heath of Adults and Seniors in Windsor-Essex survey. Sixty-six percent (60%) of respondents were from the City of Windsor.
- Overall, adults residing in the City of Windsor were least likely (56%) to have a dentist, whereas adults residing in LaSalle were most likely (86%) to have a dentist.
- The percentage of adults that self-reported having good/excellent dental health ranged from a low of 33% in the Town of Essex to a high of 65% in LaSalle.
- Low-household income (<$30,000) and the lack of dental health insurance in WEC adults was observed to be strongly associated with dental health