Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Effective Are Dental Referrals By Primary Care Physicians?

Date:
July 4, 2008
Source:
International & American Association for Dental Research
Summary:
Young children from low-income families experience high levels of tooth decay and face many barriers to getting dental treatment and preventive services. Because these children usually visit their pediatrician or other primary care provider far more frequently than a dentist, the primary care medical setting is gaining popularity as a place to provide preventive dental services.

Young children from low-income families experience high levels of tooth decay and face many barriers to getting dental treatment and preventive services. Because these children usually visit their pediatrician or other primary care provider far more frequently than a dentist, the primary care medical setting is gaining popularity as a place to provide preventive dental services.

Currently, physicians in more than 400 pediatric primary care offices in North Carolina (NC) have been trained to screen for tooth decay, so that referrals for those in need can be made to dentists. This effort is part of a preventive dental program known as "Into the Mouths of Babes" (IMB).

In a study undertaken by investigators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, researchers examined factors that lead to dental referrals by physicians and whether these referrals result in dental office visits for children who received IMB services.

The study used information from Medicaid reimbursement claims for IMB services provided during 2001 and 2002 and patient records completed by physicians for 24,403 children. The patient records provide information on the child's tooth decay experience, results of a dental risk assessment, and whether the child was referred to a dentist.

The investigators report their results today during the 86th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research. Of the 24,403 children in the study, about 5% had tooth decay, 2.8% were referred to a dentist, and 3.5% made a dental visit before 42 months of age. Among children with tooth decay, 32% were referred, and a higher percentage of children with a referral visited a dentist (35.6%) than those not referred (12.0%).

Several factors were associated with whether a child received a referral to a dentist besides the presence of any decayed teeth, including increasing age of child, the availability of a general dentist in the county where the child received IMB services, and whether the child was seen in a practice located in a rural area.

In a second analysis, child tooth decay, a referral, increasing age of child, availability of a general dentist in the county, and having a dental visit prior to the first IMB visit were related to shorter time intervals between the referral and a dental visit.

The authors concluded that referrals by physicians increased access to dentists for children with tooth decay, but use of dentist services for those needing care remained low.

The study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International & American Association for Dental Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

International & American Association for Dental Research. "How Effective Are Dental Referrals By Primary Care Physicians?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080704130809.htm>.
International & American Association for Dental Research. (2008, July 4). How Effective Are Dental Referrals By Primary Care Physicians?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080704130809.htm
International & American Association for Dental Research. "How Effective Are Dental Referrals By Primary Care Physicians?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080704130809.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins