Dental care utilization and unmet dental needs in older Korean Americans

Yuri Jang, Hyunwoo Yoon, Nan Sook Park, David A. Chiriboga, Miyong T. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: The study explored predictors of dental care utilization and unmet dental needs in older Korean Americans, considering predisposing, enabling (dental insurance, acculturation, and family network), and need (self-rated oral health) variables. Method: Multivariate regression models were used to evaluate the data from 209 Korean Americans (aged ≥60) surveyed in Central Texas. Results: Participants with strong family networks and fair/poor self-ratings of oral health reported higher numbers of dental visits in the past year. The likelihood of having an unmet dental need increased when participants had less education, a shorter stay in the United States, no dental insurance coverage, lower levels of acculturation, more limited family networks, fair/poor self-ratings of oral health, and fewer numbers of dental visits. Discussion: Our findings underscore the vulnerability of individuals who are culturally and linguistically isolated and lack family resources, and they highlight the importance of incorporating social and cultural factors in intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1059
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • dental care utilization
  • older Korean Americans
  • self-rated oral health
  • unmet dental needs


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