The distribution of dental health specialist locations in Sri Lanka

Bagya Wijewardena, Nirosha Ranasinghe, Estie Kruger, Marc Tennant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To investigate the distribution of dental health specialist locations staffed by Oral and Maxillo-Facial Surgeons (OMF), Restorative dentists, and Orthodontists in Sri Lanka in relation to population distribution and socio-economic status. Methods: Specialist dental locations were mapped using GIS (Geographic Information System) and overlayed with census population data and socio-economic quintiles. Results: Overall, there was an uneven geographic distribution of the total 55 specialist dental locations and 74 attributed specialist work force within the country. Access to specialist care is remarkably high in Western and Central provinces, compared to the Northern, Eastern and North Central provinces. When the geographic distribution was compared to population socio-economics, it was found that in Sri Lanka only 22.3%, 44.4%, and 25.4% of the most disadvantaged lived within 20 kms from an Orthodontic, OMF and Restorative clinic respectively, compared to 66.3%, 82.8% and 44.7% of the least disadvantaged. Conclusion: The findings of this study can contribute to the decision-making process when determining future locations of dental specialist clinics and identifying subgroups in the population who are geographically and socio-economically isolated from accessing care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-246
Number of pages6
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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