Oral health is one of the most important factors affecting peoplechr('39')s well-being. However, there are major obstacle to accessing dental services including high medical costs, lack of financial resources and human resources. Therefore, the present study was designed and conducted to investigate the distribution of dentists in public sector and household payments for dental services in Iran.
The present cross-sectional study was designed and implemented using the National Household Expenditure Survey data from 2011 to 2017. Gini coefficient was used to measure the distribution of manpower and household payment. All analyzes were performed using MS Excel 2013 software.
Across the country, there were 5.56 dentists per thousand. Qazvin, Hamedan, Yazd, Mazandaran and Ilam provinces had the highest average and Alborz, Lorestan, Qom, Khuzestan and Khorasan Razavi provinces had the lowest average number of dentists. The Gini coefficient of dentistschr('39') distribution in 2012 was 0.41 and with slight decrease it was 0.40 in 2017. Also, the Gini coefficient of payment for household dental costs in rural areas was 0.68 and 0.66 in urban areas in 2012 and it was 0.70 and 0.65 in rural and urban areas in 2017, respectively.
According to the findings of the present study, inequality in distribution of dentists in public sector and household use of dental services during the study period has not changed significantly. Given the high Gini coefficient of households for dental services in rural areas compared to urban areas, it seems that covering dental services can be an effective measure to reduce this inequality. In addition, implementing appropriate programs to facilitate access to dental services for disadvantaged households can be an effective measure to reduce this inequality.
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