Purpose: This study aimed to clarify the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on individual dental-visit behaviour and examine the difference between elderly and other individuals regarding the impact on dental visits.
Keywords: clinic visits, elderly, interrupted time-series analysis, stay at home orders, universal health insurance
Materials and Methods: An interrupted time-series analysis was performed to examine the change in data from the national database before and after the first declaration of a state of emergency.
Results: The number of patients visiting a dental clinic (NPVDC), number of dental treatment days (NDTD) and dental expenses (DE) during the first declaration of a state of emergency decreased by 22.1%, 17.9%, and 12.5% in the group under 64 years of age and 26.1%, 26.3%, and 20.1% in the group over 65 years of age, respectively, compared with those in the same month of the previous year. Between March and June 2020, the monthly NPVDC and NDTD were significantly reduced (p < 0.001, p = 0.013) in those over 65 years of age. The DE did not change statistically significantly in either the under 64 group or the over 65 group. There was no statistically significant change in the slope of the regression line in the NPVDC, NDTD, and DE before and after the first state-of-emergency declaration.
Conclusion: The first state of emergency greatly reduced the NPVDC, NDTD, and DE compared to those in the previous year. In people aged over 65 years, it might still be unresolved 2 years after the postponement of dental treatment owing to the first declaration of a state of emergency.