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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Available from: Xiaoli Gao, Dec 29, 2014
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    • "It also is the case for high educated and skilled subjects (they are more likely to have better jobs and so financial resources availability and insurance coverage!), long-term and the so called " accultured " immigrants (Newbold 2006, Marino 2001, Bedos 2004, Wu 2005, Stewart 2002, Lai 2007, Bower 2007, Zhang 2008, Gao 2011). Utilization of DHS by this population subgroup is mainly emergency oriented, curative than preventive (EU Migration Network Report 2006). "
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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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