Social inequalities in tooth loss: A multinational comparison

Hawazin W. Elani, Sam Harper, William Murray Thomson, Iris L. Espinoza, Gloria Mejia Delgado, Xiangqun Ju, Lisa M. Jamieson, Ichiro Kawachi, Jay S. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To conduct cross-national comparison of education-based inequalities in tooth loss across Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand and the United States. Methods: We used nationally representative data from Australia's National Survey of Adult Oral Health; Canadian Health Measures Survey; Chile's First National Health Survey Ministry of Health; US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; and the New Zealand Oral Health Survey. We examined the prevalence of edentulism, the proportion of individuals having <21 teeth and the mean number of teeth present. We used education as a measure of socioeconomic position and measured absolute and relative inequalities. We used random-effects meta-analysis to summarize inequality estimates. Results: The USA showed the widest absolute and relative inequality in edentulism prevalence, whereas Chile demonstrated the largest absolute and relative social inequality gradient for the mean number of teeth present. Australia had the narrowest absolute and relative inequality gap for proportion of individuals having <21 teeth. Pooled estimates showed substantial heterogeneity for both absolute and relative inequality measures. Conclusions: There is a considerable variation in the magnitude of inequalities in tooth loss across the countries included in this analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-274
Number of pages9
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • disparities
  • education
  • epidemiology
  • public health
  • tooth loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Elani, H. W., Harper, S., Thomson, W. M., Espinoza, I. L., Mejia Delgado, G., Ju, X., ... Kaufman, J. S. (2017). Social inequalities in tooth loss: A multinational comparison. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 45(3), 266-274.