A Review on the Oral Health Impacts of Acculturation

Dental Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Prince Philip Dental Hospital, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong.
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health (Impact Factor: 1.16). 11/2010; 13(2):202-13. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-010-9414-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The impact of acculturation on systemic health has been extensively investigated and is regarded as an important explanatory factor for health disparity. However, information is limited and fragmented on the oral health implications of acculturation. This study aimed to review the current evidence on the oral health impact of acculturation. Papers were retrieved from five electronic databases. Twenty-seven studies were included in this review. Their scientific quality was rated and key findings were summarized. Seventeen studies investigated the impacts of acculturation on the utilization of dental services; among them, 16 reported positive associations between at least one acculturation indicator and use of dental services. All 15 studies relating acculturation to oral diseases (dental caries and periodontal disease) suggested better oral health among acculturated individuals. Evidence is lacking to support that better oral health of acculturated immigrants is attributable to their improved dental attendance. Further researches involving other oral health behaviors and diseases and incorporating refined acculturation scales are needed. Prospective studies will facilitate the understanding on the trajectory of immigrants' oral health along the acculturation continuum.

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    ABSTRACT: Poverty, wars, complex disasters and globalization have, for long time, been associated with significant migrations from areas " unsecure " to those assumed to be more secure. Migrants usually bring in host countries their specific problems including health-related. Underutilization of dental health services (DHS) is an example among many others. Most immigrants seek curative than preventive care services. Barriers to dental services utilization, as reported by most immigrants, include low income, lack of dental insurance, older age, male sex and acculturation. Healthcare policymakers of host countries have to urgently and appropriately tackle this unfavourable disparity in healthcare which has a non-negligible burden.
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    Ethnicity and Health 04/2014; 20(3):1-17. DOI:10.1080/13557858.2014.907391 · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Oral health is an important aspect of well-being. In Italy immigrants can have different access to health care services, and can opt for the National Health Service (NHS) and/ or private non- profit health care organizations. The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to evaluate oral health in the immigrant population of Rome and to investigate the differences between two different types of services: the First Observation Unit at the Department of Oral and Maxillo Facial Sciences, at the “Sapienza” University of Rome (a NHS affiliate), and a charitable organization, the Caritas Dental Center (CDC ). Meth ods: A multiple-choice questionnaire was administered between the last trimester of 2006 and the first trimester of 2007. A chi square analysis was performed and the level of significance was set at p<0.05. Results : The sample was composed of 250 people, of which 100 were patients of the CDC and 150 were patients of the NHS. The percentage of non-Italians was 80% (n=80) in the CDC sample, and only 16% (n=25) in the NHS sample. In the CDC , definitive resolving therapies, such as tooth extractions, prevailed (60% v’s 47% NHS; p=0.033). In addition, the frequency of consumption of sugary foods and drinks was significantly higher among CDC patients (31% reported to consume these over 9 times a day) compared to NHS patients (11% reporting this consumption). Dis cussi on: The study shows a substantial under using of the National Health Service for Oral health care needs by the immigrant population. The particular composition of the sample, with a high prevalence being of Romanian nationality, might reflect specific conditions of this nationality. The results showed that immigrants were satisfied with the health care even though they encountered difficulties in terms of level of communication .
    Italian Journal of Public Health 01/2012; 9(1):89-96.

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