The purpose of this study was to identify, by using the Korea Health Panel, the factors for the ‘unmet dental care needs’ —the failure to use dental care service despite the need to get dental care— experienced among older adults. A comparison was made between ‘unmet healthcare needs’ and ‘unmet dental care needs’, taking into account the characteristics of dental care, including the relatively lower health insurance coverage and the larger amount of out-of-pocket costs than the other types of healthcare service. The education level, income, and health insurance type were significantly correlated with both unmet healthcare and unmet dental care needs; age, household type, and alcohol intake were significantly correlated only with unmet dental care needs. On the basis of these results, this study presents policy implications for making oral healthcare more accessible to older adults.


Older Adults, Dental Clinic Use, Unmet Dental Care Needs, Unmet Healthcare Needs