Water fluoridation and costs of Medicaid treatment for dental decay--Louisiana, 1995-1996.
Treatment costs for dental decay in young children can be substantial, especially if extensive dental procedures and general anesthesia in a hospital operating room (OR) are needed. Because caries in the primary dentition disproportionately affect children from low-income households, the cost for care frequently is reimbursed by state Medicaid programs. To determine whether the average treatment cost for Medicaid-eligible children in Louisiana differed by community fluoridation status, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) and CDC analyzed Medicaid dental reimbursements and Medicaid eligibility records from July 1995 through June 1996 for children aged 1-5 years. Findings suggest that Medicaid-eligible children in communities without fluoridated water were three times more likely than Medicaid-eligible children in communities with fluoridated water to receive dental treatment in a hospital OR, and the cost of dental treatment per eligible child was approximately twice as high. (+info)
Factors considered by new faculty in their decision to choose careers in academic dentistry.
To determine the characteristics of new dental faculty and what factors influenced them to choose academic careers, a survey was sent to deans at all U.S. dental schools to be distributed to faculty with length of service of four years or less. Responses were received from 240 individuals. About half of the respondents had been in private practice for an average of eight years, and 20 percent had military experience averaging almost sixteen years. A majority had postgraduate training and 60 percent had specialty training. Nearly 32 percent of new faculty were female and 80 percent were U.S. citizens. Analyses of responses to survey items indicated that correlated factors in the survey fell into the following empirical categories: teaching and scholarship, income and indebtedness, research, work schedule, influence of mentors and role models, and long-term aspirations. In general, the respondents identified factors relating to teaching and scholarship to be the most important influences on their choice of academic careers, while concerns about income and indebtedness were the most important negative considerations in this regard. Other positive factors identified by the survey related to the influence of mentors and role models, long-term aspirations, and research. Age, private practice experience, and military experience were found to particularly influence the new faculty members' responses to items concerning income and indebtedness, and citizenship influenced responses to factors relating to research. The data from this select group of dentists support the current view that inequities in income of dental faculty compared to private practitioners and student debt are important concerns in choosing academic careers. Importantly, the desire to teach and participate in scholarly activities are important attractions in academic careers. Mentoring activities and creation of opportunities for career development are crucial factors in developing interest in academics among graduate dentists. (+info)
Use of an interactive tool to assess patients' willingness-to-pay.
Assessment of willingness to pay (WTP) has become an important issue in health care technology assessment and in providing insight into the risks and benefits of treatment options. We have accordingly explored the use of an interactive method for assessment of WTP. To illustrate our methodology, we describe the development and testing of an interactive tool to administer a WTP survey in a dental setting. The tool was developed to measure patient preference and strength of preference for three dental anesthetic options in a research setting. It delivered written and verbal formats simultaneously, including information about the risks and benefits of treatment options, insurance, and user-based WTP scenarios and questions on previous dental experience. Clinical information was presented using a modified decision aid. Subjects could request additional clinical information and review this information throughout the survey. Information and question algorithms were individualized, depending on the subject's reported clinical status and previous responses. Initial pretesting resulted in substantial modifications to the initial tool: shortening the clinical information (by making more of it optional reading) and personalizing the text to more fully engage the user. In terms of results 196 general population subjects were recruited using random-digit dialing in southwestern Ontario, Canada. Comprehension was tested to ensure the instrument clearly conveyed the clinical information; the average score was 97%. Subjects rated the instrument as easy/very easy to use (99%), interesting/very interesting (91%), and neither long nor short (72.4%). Most subjects were comfortable/very comfortable with a computer (84%). Indirect evaluation revealed most subjects completed the survey in the expected time (30 min). Additional information was requested by 50% of subjects, an average of 2.9 times each. Most subjects wanted this type of information available in the provider's office for use in clinical decision making (92%). Despite extensive pretesting, three "bugs" remained undiscovered until live use. We have demonstrated that the detailed information, complex algorithms, and cognitively challenging questions involved in a WTP survey can be successfully administered using a tailor-made, patient-based, interactive computer tool. Key lessons regarding the use of such tools include allowing the user to set the pace of information flow and tailor the content, engaging the user by personalizing the textual information, inclusion of tests of comprehension and offering opportunities for correction, and pretesting by fully mimicking the live environment. (+info)
Costs of providing dental services for children in public and private practices.
This study compares the costs of providing children's dental services in three practice settings: private practices, public mobile clinics, and public fixed clinics. Some 15,000 children were provided comprehensive dental care over a three-year period. Results indicate that costs per visit and per child were lowest in mobile clinics and highest in private practices. The differential was partially explained by differences in productivity but mostly by the fact that the price of services in public practices represented costs of production, whereas in private practices they represented market values. (+info)
Survey of Dental Student Financial Assistance, 2001-02.
The American Dental Education Association's 2001-02 Survey of Dental Student Financial Assistance obtained data by which to report, in aggregate and by type of school, the amount of financial assistance being received by dental students, in the form of loans, grants and scholarships, and work-study programs. Over 90 percent of the dental students received financial assistance through one or more federal, state, and/or school source. The average amount of assistance per student was dollar 35,100, ranging from an average of dollar 27,700 at public dental schools to dollar 51,100 at private dental schools. Loan programs accounted for almost 88 percent of all financial assistance; grants and scholarships, for 12 percent; work-study programs, for 0.2 percent. Overall, financial assistance exceeded average tuition and fees by 102 percent. With such levels of reliance on financial assistance, it remains imperative that students, even at the undergraduate level, receive the counseling, monitoring, and advice that will help them judiciously seek and manage appropriate types and amounts of financial assistance as they obtain their dental education. (+info)
A macroeconomic review of dentistry in Canada in the 1990s.
OBJECTIVES: To document the trends in expenditures on dental health care services and the number of dental health care professionals in Canada from 1990 to 1999. METHODS: Information on dental and health expenditures, numbers of dentists, hygienists and dental therapists, and the population of Canada and the provinces were obtained from the Canadian Institute for Health Information; data on numbers of denturists were obtained from regional bodies and from Health Canada. Information on the costs of other disease categories was taken from studies by Health Canada (1993 and 1998). International comparisons were made on the basis of data published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Indices of change over the decade (in which the 1990 value served as the baseline ) were calculated. RESULTS: By 1999, the supply of all types of dental care providers had increased to 1 for every 904 people. Dental expenditures during the 1990s increased by 64% overall and by 49% per capita, a rate of increase that exceeded both inflation and costs of health care. Although the public share of dental costs decreased from 9.2% to 5.8%, the direct costs of dental care increased to rank second (6.30 billion dollars) after those for cardiovascular diseases (6.82 billion dollars). Among the OECD nations, Canada had the fourth highest per capita dental expenditures and the second lowest per capita public dental expenditures. CONCLUSIONS: The direct economic costs of dental conditions increased during the 1990s from 4.13 billion dollars to 6.77 billion dollars. Over the same period, the public share for expenditures on dental health care services declined. (+info)
Evolving trends in size and structure of group dental practices in the United States.
In this study, the authors examined recent trends in the growth of dental establishments and dental firms, including geographic location. In this article, they also present information about the demographic characteristics of dentists who work in a dental practice that is part of a larger company that delivers dental care in multiple locations. The number of dental establishments (single locations) and the average size of these establishments grew from 1992 to 2007. Large multi-unit dental firms grew in terms of number of establishments and the percentage of total receipts. Large multi-unit dental firms represent a small but growing segment of the dental market. Dentists less than thirty-five years old were most likely to work in a practice that was part of a larger company, and females were more likely than males to work in such a setting. The percentage of dentists working in these settings was also found to vary by region and state. The authors present a typology of dental group practice and suggest that future research should take into account the differences so that appropriate conclusions can be drawn and generalizations across categories are not made. (+info)