Aim: This study examined the disparities in dental health and
resources used in dental care among children in different economic
regions, urban and rural areas of mainland China.
Design: Data used were the Chinese National Third Oral Epidemiology
Survey and dentist density, disposable income data from
Statistics Year Book of Health Ministry of China. Multiple logistic
regression analysis was used to adjust for confounders.
Results: Children who were from the western part of China were
less likely to have had a dental visit within last 1 year (aOR:
0.79; 95%CLs: 0.72, 0.87), and lower filling rates (aOR: 0.44;
95%CLs: 0.37, 0.53) than the children who were from eastern
China. The children who were from rural areas were less likely to
have filling services (aOR: 0.43; 95%CLs: 0.29, 0.64) when they
had caries. The children who were from higher dentist density
areas (aOR: 1.71; 95%CLs: 1.47, 1.98) and higher disposable
income areas (aOR: 1.69; 95%CLs: 1.29, 2.22) were more likely
to have had a dentist visit within the last year.
Of the total survey population, 56.8% of children had never visited
Conclusion: The total dental care potential for Chinese children
was underused. The children who were in the 5-year-old group,
in western China, rural areas, low dentist density areas and low
income areas were less likely to have had dental care services.