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Original Research

Open Access

Disparity in the dental care of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder in Korea: a national population-based cross-sectional study

  • Hyeong-Jin Baek1
  • Jieun Yun2
  • Hyejin Lee3,4
  • Hee Jeong Yoo5,6
  • Jin Yong Lee7,8,9,*,
  • Keun-Suh Kim1,*,

1Department of Periodontology, Section of Dentistry, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 13620 Seong-Nam, Republic of Korea

2Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Cheongju University, 28503 Cheongju, Republic of Korea

3Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 13620 Seong-Nam, Republic of Korea

4Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 03080 Seoul, Republic of Korea

5Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 03080 Seoul, Republic of Korea

6Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 13620 Seong-Nam, Republic of Korea

7Public Healthcare Center, Seoul National University Hospital, 03080 Seoul, Republic of Korea

8Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 03080 Seoul, Republic of Korea

9HIRA Research Institute, Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, 26465 Wonju, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2024.036 Vol.48,Issue 2,March 2024 pp.82-87

Submitted: 21 May 2023 Accepted: 28 July 2023

Published: 03 March 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Jin Yong Lee E-mail: jylee00@snu.ac.kr
*Corresponding Author(s): Keun-Suh Kim E-mail: alienhd@snubh.org

Abstract

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulty accessing dental care. We aim to verify whether individuals with ASD are properly managed by checking the frequency of dental visits, cost and severity of dental treatment compared with those without ASD. This cross-sectional study used the Korean Health Insurance Database to analyze the frequency, cost and severity of dental treatment in 209,780 people under the age of 19 with or without ASD in 2020. The average frequency of dental visits for individuals without ASD was 2.98 times, which was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than the 2.89 times for those with ASD. However, the average dental cost for individuals with ASD was USD 132.63, which was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than USD 116.57 for those without ASD. Additionally, the average number of times that individuals without ASD received severe dental treatment was 1.23 times, significantly higher than the 1.15 times for those with ASD. Further, per 10,000 people, we found that trauma treatment was recorded for an average of 21.90 individuals with ASD, significantly higher than the 7.75 recorded for those without ASD (p < 0.001). Individuals with ASD encounter significant disparities in accessing dental care, as evidenced by their relatively infrequent dental visits. This discrepancy can be attributed to various barriers including the financial burden compared with those without ASD.


Keywords

Autistic spectrum disorder; Dentistry; National health insurance; Cross-sectional study; Oral hygiene


Cite and Share

Hyeong-Jin Baek,Jieun Yun,Hyejin Lee,Hee Jeong Yoo,Jin Yong Lee,Keun-Suh Kim. Disparity in the dental care of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder in Korea: a national population-based cross-sectional study. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2024. 48(2);82-87.

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