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Differences in Pediatric Dental Services under General Anesthesia for Medicaid and Military Dependent Children

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Purpose: This study's purpose was to compare pediatric dental services provided for Medicaid and military dependent children to determine if differences in dental treatment choices exist based on site and payment method. Methods: Subjects included 120 Medicaid patients at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and 120 military dependents at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Demographic data and treatment information were abstracted for children younger than 6 years old receiving dental treatment under general anesthesia between 2002 and 2006. Data was analyzed using Wilcoxon rank sum, Kruskal-Wallis, and Fisher's exact tests. Results: The Medicaid recipients were younger (40.2 vs 49.8 months, P<.001) and more likely to be Hispanic (78% vs 30%, P<.001). The means of decayed teeth, fillings, and stainless steel crowns did not differ between sites. Medicaid children received more composite fillings (P<.001), fewer amalgam fillings (P<.001), fewer pulp therapies (P<.001), more extractions (P=.01), and fewer sealants (P<.001). Age and gender did not affect decay rates, but those of Hispanic ethnicity did experience more decay than non-Hispanics (9.5 vs 8.6, P=.02). Conclusion: This study found no difference in the number of less conservative, albeit more costly, procedures performed with Medicaid children at a university compared to military dependents at a military base.
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Keywords: EARLY CHILDHOOD CARIES; GENERAL ANESTHESIA; MEDICAID; RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA; Regional Pediatric Dental Consultant, Phoenix Area Indian Health Service, Polacca, Ariz, USA. [email protected] 2: Department of Community Dentistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA 3: University of Texas School of Public Health, San Antonio Regional Campus, San Antonio, Texas, USA 4: Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA; Retired from the United States Air Force

Publication date: July 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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