Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Health Communication Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Public health

Dental Public Health and Education

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Health Communication

Oral Health Beliefs Of Alaska Native Dental Patients, Abigail N. Adams, Carly T. Mckenzie Mar 2017

Oral Health Beliefs Of Alaska Native Dental Patients, Abigail N. Adams, Carly T. Mckenzie

Journal on Race, Inequality, and Social Mobility in America

This study investigated the oral health beliefs of Alaska Native dental patients via a questionnaire with 4-point Likert scales. Respondents (n = 136) reported high perceived importance of keeping natural teeth. Females viewed oral health as more important than males. Respondents generally did not view dentists as readily available (M = 2.86, SD = 0.66). Perceived availability and efficacy of dentists were positively correlated (r = 0.219, p = 0.021). Beliefs regarding seriousness of dental problems and importance of oral health were strongly correlated (r = 0.547, p < 0.001). Age predicted perceived seriousness of oral health problems, dentist availability, and prevention benefits. Access to dental care is perceived as a barrier among Alaska Natives generally and elders in particular. Oral health education and prevention messages should utilize the existing belief that keeping natural teeth is important. Public information about available services and transportation logistics may decrease perceived availability barriers.