Over the past few years, millions of deprived and underinsured patients coping with dental problems cling to hospital emergency departments (EDs). However, EDs remain remarkably expensive and a futile source of dental care, this is according to the two new recent studies.
McAllen, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/19/2014 -- Between 2008 and 2010, over 4 million patients with dental conditions are brought to hospital EDs hoping that that these establishments can help them out. These incidences reached an estimated cost of $2.7 billion. According to the study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, the vast majority of these patients did not receive actual dental procedures and are aided with prescription medications instead. The study also stated that a total of 101 patients passed away in the emergency rooms.
The researchers utilized the data collected from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), to finish their paper. Researchers found out that uninsured patients comprised more than 40 percent of the dental-condition related ED visits.
Prevention has always been better than cure. The researchers pointed out that most of these dental problems could have been addressed in a less pricey and more effective means and can be prevented through routine professional and home care. The absence of medical insurance or the ability to pay for care, geographical isolation, poor diet and poor oral hygiene all contribute to the oral conditions that drive people to hospitals. Researchers pointed out that these patients seldom find actual dental care on the visits, only treatment with prescribed medicines.
“Health care providers, policymakers and hospital administrators should consider establishing oral health experts within hospital settings who can consult with treating clinicians regarding oral health emergencies or can directly manage the emergencies themselves,” concluded the research team, led by Veerasathpurush Allareddy, an associate professor at the College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics at The University of Iowa.
Researchers from the Rutgers Center for Health Care Policy and the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine drew similar conclusions on a smaller study they did which is focused upon emergency department visits for dental problems in poor regions of New Jersey between 2008 and 2010
“Emergency departments are poorly equipped to deal definitively with dental and oral health needs,” noted lead author Kristen Lloyd. “Still, many people seek care in emergency departments for non-traumatic dental and dental-related conditions, possibly indicating inadequate access to dental care in the community.”
Residents of McAllen and neighboring towns in need in of an emergency dentist need not worry. Xpress Dental Clinic is open to serve patients suffering from dental pain. Even on a busy schedule, they are always available for emergencies.
About Xpress Dental Clinic
Xpress Dental Clinic prides on being a different dental office, where they utilize technology and focus on customer service to enhance the patient experience. They believe that going to the dentist should be a positive experience and always strive for excellence by always looking into how they may improve their level of service.