Geographical accessibility to dental care in the Japanese elderly

T. Hanibuchi, J. Aida, M. Nakade, H. Hirai, K. Kondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The current research aims to clarify the factors relevant to elderly people's access to dental care in Japan, particularly focusing on geographical accessibility. Methods: The sample was taken from among the Japanese elderly, aged 65 and over, who responded to a postal survey conducted in 2003 (n = 2,192). Six types of geographical accessibility to the dental clinics were calculated using Geographic Information Systems. Logistic regression analysis was conducted using 'having a regular dentist' as a dependent variable and geographical accessibility as an explanatory variable. Results: The results showed an association between having a regular dentist and geographical accessibility only for females. In the univariate model, distance to the closest dental clinics (OR=0.62 (95%CI: 0.43-0.90)), number of dental clinics at the school district level (OR=1.14 (95%CI: 1.03-1.26)), number of dental clinics at the municipality level (OR=1.02 (95%CI: 1.00-1.05)), and density distribution of dental clinics (OR=1.56 (95%CI: 1.11-2.19)) showed significant relations with having a regular dentist. After controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, and health related variables, only the density distribution of dental clinics showed significant relations at the 5% level, although distance and number of dental clinics kept a marginal significance. Conclusion: The current study verifies that geographical accessibility correlates with access to dental care among women, and that there were large gender differences concerning the issue of geographical access.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-135
Number of pages8
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun 1


  • Access to care
  • GIS
  • Geographical accessibility
  • Japan
  • Oral health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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