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

Status: Active

There exists a stark difference in the pattern of publicly funded oral healthcare delivered through general dental practice 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 lead

Professor Ciaran O’Neill, Queen’s University Belfast (ADR Northern Ireland).

This project is funded by ADR Northern Ireland via its core grant from the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) as an ADR UK partner.

Categories: Research using linked data, ADR Northern Ireland, Children & Young People, Health & Wellbeing, Inequality & Social Inclusion

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