The objective of the present study was to assess the public accessibility of orthodontic care in Lithuania. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In 2008, a request for the information about various aspects of public orthodontic care during 2000-2007 in Lithuania was submitted to the State Patients' Fund at the Ministry of Health. The data on the demographic distribution of orthodontists in Lithuania were received from the Lithuanian Dental Chamber. The authors of the paper also analyzed the national legislation regulating the State Patients' Fund expenditure on orthodontic care and treatment. RESULTS: In 2007, there were 73 orthodontists-practitioners in Lithuania, most of them highly concentrated in major cities and towns: most of them were practicing in Vilnius (22) and Kaunas (20), while there were only 5 orthodontists in Klaipeda, 4 in Siauliai, 3 in each of Panevezys and Marijampole. The public orthodontic treatment is rendered only to patients suffering from most severe pathologies. With the constantly increasing expenditure of the State Patients' Fund, the national public orthodontic care system definitely undergoes significant development: the number of patients who received the treatment with removable and with fixed orthodontic appliances was gradually increasing during 2002-2007, with however, a very small number of new facilities for ambulatory treatment facilities of orthodontists (consultations included). The number of patients who received treatment with removable orthodontic appliances was specifically higher in Siauliai and Telsiai, Panevezys and Utena districts, with fixed orthodontic appliances - in Vilnius and Alytus, Kaunas and Marijampole, Panevezys and Utena regions. The analysis of the availability of public orthodontic treatment showed a marked increase in the number highly-specialized ambulatory facilities in Vilnius and Alytus district in 2002-2007. CONCLUSIONS: Specialists providing orthodontic treatment in the country are highly concentrated, while in general public orthodontic treatment undergoes development at the moment. The accessibility of orthodontic treatment in Lithuania, especially in the regions distant from Vilnius and Kaunas, remains inadequate.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Stomatologija / issued by public institution "Odontologijos studija" ... [et al.]|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|
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