Variations in temporal trends in non-traumatic dental condition related emergencies


Advocate Aurora Research Institute


Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate temporal trends in non-traumatic dental condition (NTDC) related emergency visits at Emergency Department (ED), urgent care (UC), and at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that providing dental services to a mid-sized rural community.

Methods: Temporal trends over a 9-year period (2008-2016) in NTDC rates at ED, UC, FQHC and in a region around the FQHC were determined. Statistically significant changes (α = 0.05) in the proportion of NTDC visits between FQHC and UC across each of the time points were investigated.

Results: Proportion of NTDC ED visits was relatively stable over the study period; whereas those at FQHC exceeded those at UC site beginning 2012 and were significantly (α = 0.05) higher than that of UC subsequently (2015-2016).

Conclusions: NTDCs are preventable dental conditions and the care provided in treating NTDCs in emergency settings is palliative and does not address the underlying conditions resulting in poor outcomes. The results presented elucidate the critical role of FQHCs in significantly reducing NTDC visits. These might be precursors to a potential shift in NTDC care seeking behavior and expected to favorably impact oral health outcomes.

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