Public Release: 

Access and utilization of dental services for Medicaid children 2013-2015

International & American Associations for Dental Research

Alexandria, VA, USA - At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Natalia I. Chalmers, D.D.S., Ph.D. of the DentaQuest Institute, Westborough, Mass., presented an oral session titled "Access and Utilization of Dental Services for Medicaid Children 2013-2015." The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA from March 21-24, 2018.

The study retrospectively evaluated access to and the utilization of dental services and sealants, based on dental claims data for Medicaid-enrolled children 20 years and under from 13 states. The goal was to identify specific factors such as patient age, race, the location of service etc. which were significantly associated with dental services access and sealant placement.

Medicaid claims 2013-2015 for 13 states were utilized. Estimation of access to dental services was based on the ratio of all children with medical or dental service to those with dental service. Estimation of dental services utilization was based on the ratio of children who had at least one dental visit to those who received the service. Type I services were defined as preventive and diagnostic and Type II services were defined as restorative.

"During the study, there was a significant increase in the number of new Medicaid-enrolled children," said Natalia I. Chalmers. "This increase had a significant impact on the overall access to dental services."

Across the years, 77% of Medicaid children utilized Type I services and 21% of Medicaid children utilized Type II services. Sealant access rates for 6-9 years old were 17.6%, 17.5% and 16.5% and the sealant utilization rates were 28.5%, 28.7%, and 27.9%. Sealant access rates for 10-14 years old were 12.9%, 12.6% and 11.8% and sealant utilization rates were 22.7%, 22.6%, and 22.1%.

A significant proportion of Medicaid-enrolled children with access to the dental delivery system receive preventive and diagnostic services, but utilization of care remains a challenge in the context of continuously expanding eligible population.

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This is a summary of oral session #0869 titled "Access and Utilization of Dental Services for Medicaid Children 2013-2015" presented by Natalia I. Chalmers on Friday, March 23, 2018 at 8 a.m. in Grand Ballroom H of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA.

About the American Association for Dental Research

The American Association for Dental Research (AADR), headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit organization with over 3,400 members in the United States. Its mission is: (1) to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health; (2) to support and represent the oral health research community; and (3) to facilitate the communication and application of research findings. AADR is the largest Division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). To learn more about the AADR, visit http://www.aadr.org.

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