Out-of-pocket expenditures on dental care for schoolchildren aged 6 to 12 years: A cross-sectional estimate in a less-developed country setting

Carlo Eduardo Medina-Solís, Leticia Ávila-Burgos, María De Lourdes Márquez-Corona, June Janette Medina-Solís, Salvador Eduardo Lucas-Rincón, Socorro Aida Borges-Yañez, Miguel Ángel Fernández-Barrera, América Patricia Pontigo-Loyola, Gerardo Maupomé

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Aim: The objective of this study was to estimate the Out-Of-Pocket Expenditures (OOPEs) incurred by households on dental care, as well as to analyze the sociodemographic, economic, and oral health factors associated with such expenditures. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 763 schoolchildren in Mexico. A questionnaire was distributed to parents to determine the variables related to OOPEs on dental care. The amounts were updated in 2017 in Mexican pesos and later converted to 2017 international dollars (purchasing power parities-PPP US $). Multivariate models were created: A linear regression model (which modeled the amount of OOPEs), and a logistic regression model (which modeled the likelihood of incurring OOPEs). Results: The OOPEs on dental care for the 763 schoolchildren were PPP US $53,578, averaging a PPP of US $70.2 ± 123.7 per child. Disbursements for treatment were the principal item within the OOPEs. The factors associated with OOPEs were the child’s age, number of dental visits, previous dental pain, main reason for dental visit, educational level of mother, type of health insurance, household car ownership, and socioeconomic position.Conclusions: The average cost of dental care was PPP US $70.2 ± 123.7. Our study shows that households with higher school-aged children exhibiting the highest report of dental morbidity—as well as those without insurance—face the highest OOPEs. An array of variables were associated with higher expenditures. In general, higher-income households spent more on dental care. However, the present study did not estimate unmet needs across the socioeconomic gradient, and thus, future research is needed to fully ascertain disease burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1997
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019



  • Dental care
  • Health expenditure
  • Mexico
  • Oral health
  • Out-of-pocket expenditure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Medina-Solís, C. E., Ávila-Burgos, L., Márquez-Corona, M. D. L., Medina-Solís, J. J., Lucas-Rincón, S. E., Borges-Yañez, S. A., Fernández-Barrera, M. Á., Pontigo-Loyola, A. P., & Maupomé, G. (2019). Out-of-pocket expenditures on dental care for schoolchildren aged 6 to 12 years: A cross-sectional estimate in a less-developed country setting. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(11), [1997]. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111997