This study aimed to assess the relationship between socio-economic factors and community periodontal treatment needs in Korea.
Data were obtained from the year 2009 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Our analysis included 7510 survey participants over the age of 19 years. To assess the relationship between socio-economic factors and the need for periodontal scaling, we performed multivariate logistic regression analyses for data with a complex sampling structure. PASW statistics 19.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used to perform the statistical analyses, and the results were expressed as odds ratios (OR) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
A very high percentage of Korean adults required periodontal scaling (71.5%). After adjusting for sex, age, and socio-economic factors, the need for periodontal scaling was associated with low levels of education (OR: 1.41, 95% CI: 1.03–1.93), low incomes (OR: 1.27, 95% CI: 1.01–1.60), employment as a service and sales worker (OR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.10–1.77), and employment as a manual worker (OR: 1.31, 95% CI: 1.02–1.69).
In South Korea, the need for periodontal scaling was associated with socio-economic factors, such as low levels of education, low incomes, employment as a service and sales worker and employment as a manual worker. Consequently, clinical and community dental hygienists should consider adults with these risk factors as belonging to high-priority subgroups to whom they should respond first.