Impact of Establishing Dental Access for Preventable Infectious Dental Diseases (PIDD) in Medical Settings: Case Study from Rural Wisconsin

Neel Shimpi Ingrid Glurich Rachel Gabor Po-Huang Chyou Gregory Nycz Amit Acharya

Impact of Establishing Dental Access for Preventable Infectious Dental Diseases (PIDD) in Medical Settings: Case Study from Rural Wisconsin

Authors: Neel Shimpi Ingrid Glurich Rachel Gabor Po-Huang Chyou Gregory Nycz Amit Acharya
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00102Shimpi07

Abstract

Objective: The frequency of Preventable Infectious Dental Disease (PIDD) visits in medical centers was examined pre and post establishment of expanded dental access and adoption of an integrated medical-dental care delivery model. Methods: A retrospective observational study of patient attributes and frequency of unscheduled PIDD visits between January 1, 1990 and February 29, 2020. Chi-squared tests compared (a) the number of PIDD visits (pre/post dental center establishment), (b) age at first diagnosis, (c) gender, (d) race, (e) primary insurance at the time of PIDD visits and (f) healthcare setting where visit occurred. Results: System-wide, 21,957 unique patients were documented with a total of 34,892 PIDD visits as the primary diagnosis. Patients between 18-30 years and patients with Medicaid had the highest frequency of PIDD visits in medical settings. Following the establishment of dental centers, reduced relative risk of PIDD visits was observed for patients with no health insurance or self-pay/other coverage. PIDD visits in primary care settings was 0.87 times as likely as PIDD visits at ED/UCs after dental centers opened. Conclusions: The number of PIDD visits to medical centers increased before the dental infrastructure was established, followed by a decline afterwards, inclusive of disparity populations. Some residual persistence of PIDD visits to primary care settings was identified. This study reinforced importance of dental healthcare access for achieving appropriate PIDD management while reducing PIDD visits to medical settings. Keywords: Dental diseases, Emergency treatment, Integrated care model, rural and disparity population, Dental infrastructure establishment

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