Transnational dental care among Canadian immigrants

Paola Calvasina, Carles Muntaner, Carlos Quiñonez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective This study examines predictors of transnational dental care utilization, or the use of dental care across national borders, over a 4-year period among immigrants to Canada. Methods Data from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC, 2001-2005) were used. Sampling and bootstrap weights were applied to make the data nationally representative. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were applied to identify factors associated with immigrants' transnational dental care utilization. Results Approximately 13% of immigrants received dental care outside Canada over a period of 4 years. Immigrants lacking dental insurance (OR = 2.05; 95% CI: 1.55-2.70), those reporting dental problems (OR = 1.45; 95% CI: 1.12-1.88), who were female (OR = 1.59; 95% CI: 1.22-2.08), aged ≥ 50 years (OR = 2.30; 95% CI: 1.45-3.64), and who were always unemployed (OR = 1.70; 95% CI: 1.20-2.39) were more likely to report transnational dental care utilization. History of social assistance was inversely correlated with the use of dental services outside Canada (OR = 0.48; 95% CI: 0.30-0.83). Conclusions It is estimated that roughly 11 500 immigrants have used dental care outside Canada over a 4-year period. Although transnational dental care utilization may serve as an individual solution for immigrants' initial barriers to accessing dental care, it demonstrates weaknesses to in-country efforts at providing publicly funded dental care to socially marginalized groups. Policy reforms should be enacted to expand dental care coverage among adult immigrants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-451
Number of pages8
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • dental care
  • dental insurance
  • immigrants
  • transnational care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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