September 2008

Volume 25, Issue 3

The presenting complaints of low income adults for emergency dental care: An analysis of 35,000 episodes in Victoria, Australia.

Authors: S. McGuire J. Hoogeveen P. Bacchia P. Johnstone C. Khew H. Marchant K. Morris C. Riley K. Smith E. Kruger M. Tennant
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2194Kruger05

Abstract

Objective This study examined the mix of presenting problems faced by a large diverse dental service treating low-income Australian adults and provides a basis for communities to understand and manage demand for dental services. Design A retrospective analysis in a state-wide multi-centre dental health service. Data for all patients (in all public adult dental clinics in the state of Victoria during MayAug 2005) who used the emergency services in a 12 week period were recorded and analysed. A triage question tree was developed and embedded into a neural network based computer triage tool. Results Approximately 52% of low income adults presenting for emergency treatment required treatment on the day of triage. The main problem was with natural teeth (89.6%). Of those with natural teeth problems, 41.3% had pain disturbing their sleep patterns and 14.7% had experienced a swelling. Metropolitan patients accessed the services 2.3 times more than rural patients. Conclusion These data clearly highlight that there is significant opportunity to reduce nearly 48% of on-day demand for emergency dental care through the application of appropriately clinical based triage. Key words: Dental triage, emergency, presenting complaints

£10 single article

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Editorial - Research on oral health and the quality of life – a critical overview 130-131 £10 single article
Comparison of two methods in deriving a short version of oral health-related quality of life measure. 132-136 £10 single article
Oral health and its impact on the life quality of homeless people in Hong Kong 137-142 £10 single article
The presenting complaints of low income adults for emergency dental care: An analysis of 35,000 episodes in Victoria, Australia. 143-147 £10 single article
International variation in the incidence of oral and pharyngeal cancer 148-153 £10 single article
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Restorative treatment threshold reported by Iranian dentists 185-190 £10 single article
Short Communication - Fissure sealants on permanent first molars – consequences of a one-year delay 191-192 £10 single article

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