Background/purpose: It is well recognized that various occupational hazards, including chemical, physical, and biological agents, can have adverse effects on dentists, whose heath is critical to the quality of dental care. However, little is known about the incidence of morbidity in Taiwan's dentist population. We carried out this study to investigate the overall and cause-specific incidence rates of ambulatory care visits by Taiwan's dentists. Materials and methods: Data analyzed in this study were retrieved from Taiwan's National Health Insurance claims. We followed 7760 dentists who had a contract with the National Health Insurance program from 2003 to 2007. The incidence density of ambulatory care was calculated under a Poisson assumption. Using Poisson regression models, we investigated the effects of various sociodemographic and geographic variables on the all-cause and cause-specific incidence rates of ambulatory care. Results: Over a 5-year period, the overall incidence rate of all-cause ambulatory care was estimated to be 7038/10 3 person-years. Dentists who were older, were female, and had lower insurance premiums had significantly increased rates. Additionally, those who practiced in central and southern regions and were affiliated with nonmedical centers were also associated with a significantly higher rate. Conclusion: There were inequalities in risks of ambulatory care use among Taiwan's dentists. Further studies should be conducted to investigate the causes responsible for the observed geographic and institutional variations in the risk of morbidity among dentists in Taiwan.
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