September 2009

Volume 26, Issue 3

Predicting relative need for urgent dental care

Authors: K Jones K.F. Roberts-Thomson A.J. Spencer L Luzzi
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2254Spencer08


Objective: To develop prediction models of the relative need for care to differentiate between urgent and not urgent individuals presenting for emergency dental care. Design and Methods: Data were collected from 839 adults presenting to public dental clinics across South Australia (SA) and New South Wales (NSW) for emergency dental care. Prediction of the urgency of emergency dental care was based on the assessment of two binary logistic regression models - Model 1: urgency of care=<48 hours vs. 2+ days, Model 2: urgency of care=2–7 days vs. 8+ days. Subsequently predictive equations for urgency of emergency dental care were developed using binary logistic regression analysis. The models incorporated subjective oral health indicators (i.e., experience of pain or other oral symptoms) and measures of psychosocial impact of oral disorders (i.e., difficulty sleeping and being worried about the appearance/health of one’s teeth or mouth). Results: The cut-off point for the prediction of urgency was defined as a probability value ≥0.40 and ≥0.50 for Model 1 and Model 2 respectively. These cut-off values were chosen as they produced test results that were consistent with the proportions of patients falling into various urgency categories derived from dentist’s assessment of urgency. Model 1’s sensitivity was 58%, specificity 77% and positive predictive value (PPV) 59%. Model 2’s sensitivity was 75%, specificity 65% and PPV 71%. Conclusions: These models of relative need may be useful tools for the screening of urgent dental care and for allocating priority among patients presenting for emergency dental care. Key words: Emergency dental care, prediction, urgency


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Editorial - The contributions of Edward H. Angle to dental public health 130-131 Download
The fractional urinary fluoride excretion of adults consuming naturally and artificially fluoridated water and the influence of water hardness: A randomized trial. 132-137 Download
The prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in the high and low altitude parts of Central Plateau, Nigeria 138-142 Download
Prevalence of enamel defects related to pre-, peri- and postnatal factors in a Brazilian population. 143-149 Download
Development of a psychometric scale to assess satisfaction with dental care among Sri Lankans 150-156 Download
Consent of older children participating in BASCD coordinated dental epidemiology surveys in Wales. 157-161 Download
Predicting relative need for urgent dental care 162-169 Download
A comparison of Personal Dental Service (PDS) and General Dental Service (GDS) patients in terms of reported interventions, oral health and dentists’ perceptions 170-176 Download
Hopelessness, depression and oral health concerns reported by community dwelling older Australians 177-182 Download
Higher-order exploratory factor analysis of the Dental Subscale of Children’s Fear Survey Schedule in a Taiwanese population. 183-187 Download
Opportunities and challenges to promoting oral health in primary schools 188-192 Download


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