Estimation of Oral Disease Burden from Claims and Self-Reported Data

Published 10/24/2022

Claims data can be used to estimate burden of dental disease for a population who receives dental care, according to researchers from CareQuest Institute and Marquette University School of Dentistry in an article in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.  

Typically, oral disease burden is estimated through epidemiological surveys, which can be costly and time-consuming. In this study, researchers compared Medicaid and commercial claims data with survey data to estimate burden of oral disease.  

The authors note several advantages to using claims data for this purpose. Claims data: 

  • contain the entire universe of treatment-related data among enrollees who sought care, 
  • is available in real-time, 
  • is collected as part of standard business processes and does not require additional costs and effort to obtain, and 
  • may provide a better estimate of disease due to the larger datasets. 

Using claims data for this purpose does have limitations because they only capture data on individuals who sought and received dental care. The authors write that claims data and survey data allow complementary estimates of disease burden, saying, “Survey data remain useful in estimating burden of disease especially when information from individuals who are not able to access [care] is critical.” 

Read the article in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry (subscription required)  

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