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.
- dental care
- dental insurance
- transnational care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health