University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Homeless adults’ access to dental services and strategies to improve their oral health: a systematic literature review

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 19:25 authored by Goode, J, Thi HoangThi Hoang, Crocombe, L
Homeless people have poor oral health and high treatment needs, yet tend to make problem-based dental visits. This review aimed to determine how and where homeless adults receive oral health care, the barriers that prevent homeless adults accessing dental care and find strategies to promote oral health to homeless adults. The databases MEDLINE via OvidSP, PubMed, CINAHL and Scopus were searched using the keywords: homeless, roofless, houseless, rough sleeper, couch surfer, shelter, hostel, dental and oral health. The inclusion criteria were: participants over the age of 17 years, studies written in English, based in developed countries and published after 2003. Selected articles were assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool and data extracted were thematically analysed. Twenty-two studies met the inclusion criteria. Five main themes were found: how homeless people accessed dental care; factors affecting the uptake of care; strategies used to improve access to care; the effect of non-dental staff on dental care; and challenges with providing care to homeless people. Dental care for homeless adults was affected by numerous factors. Improving their access to dental services requires collaboration between support service providers, dental care to be near homeless populations and flexibility by dental services.


Publication title

Australian Journal of Primary Health










School of Health Sciences


CSIRO Publishing

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2018 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Dental health

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania