Access to dental and orthodontic services in Northern Ireland after policy change

Status: Closed

Previous work demonstrated the existence of stark differences in use of publicly funded orthodontic care in Northern Ireland related to social class. To address this, an objective measure of need governing access to publicly funded orthodontic care was introduced in 2014 (Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need, IOTN). This project will bring together the 2011 Census with the Dental Reimbursement Database from Business Services Organisation (BSO).

Key questions

The primary aim is to compare the levels of and socioeconomic gradient in publicly funded general dental practitioner services for children/adolescents in the four years preceding the introduction of an objective measure of need for orthodontic care in 2014 with the four years following this change. This will effectively act as a policy evaluation, allowing policymakers to understand the impact or lack thereof of policy versus its intended impact and utility.

A strand within this project will specifically examine the migrant and ethnic minority population with regards to dental and orthodontic treatment uptake.

Project details

Project lead: Professor Ciaran O’Neill, Queen’s University Belfast (ADR Northern Ireland)

Duration: Completed in 2023

Contact: ADRC NI office

Funding: This project was funded by ADR NI via its core grant from the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) as an ADR UK partner.

Categories: ADR Northern Ireland, Children & young people, Health & wellbeing, Inequality & social inclusion

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