When people lack access to regular dental care, they often resort to visiting hospital emergency departments (EDs) for care — visits that are often costly and fail to address the underlying condition. This ineffective and inefficient system is not new, but the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated it. At a time when ED capacity is strained, reducing preventable dental visits in these settings is of vital importance.
This visual report from CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, based on data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), focuses on ED visits for non-traumatic dental conditions (NTDC) in Arizona.
Key findings include:
- In Arizona, adults ages 25 – 34 have the highest rate of ED use for NTDC, with about 95 visits per 10,000 people.
- Black residents in Arizona have the highest rate of ED use for NTDC, nearly three times higher than the rate for white residents and for Hispanic residents.
- Adults enrolled in Medicaid (61.4%) or who were uninsured (15.7%) made nearly 8 in 10 ED visits for NTDCs among patients ages 21 – 64.
The visual report also touches on promising solutions to expand access to care.
You may also be interested in:
- Financial Impact of Emergency Department Visits for Dental Conditions in Maryland: An Update, a report that underscores why expanding dental benefits to Medicaid participants is an opportunity to reduce ED visits for non-traumatic dental conditions.
- Recent Trends in Hospital Emergency Department Visits, an infographic that shows patients who visit hospital EDs for non-traumatic dental conditions can divert critical resources and create added stress for ED personnel.
- Emergency and Urgent Dental Visits Among Medicaid Enrollees from 2013 to 2017, a report to better understand the frequency of dental emergencies and the procedures performed during those emergency visits.