Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Study: Hospital Emergency Room Visits Attributed to Dental Caries

After 65 years of water fluoridation in the United States, 330,757 visits to hospital emergency departments were attributed to dental caries in the year 2006. The mean charge for each emergency department visit was $380.52 and the total charges across the nation were close to $110 million.

Among those that required hospitalization, the mean hospitalization charges including the emergency department charge was $16,046 and the mean length of stay in hospital was 3.29 days. We were able to identify high risk groups who presented more frequently to hospital emergency departments with dental caries. Those groups were the uninsured, those who reside in large fringe metropolitan or medium metropolitan counties, and those residing in areas where the household income is below $47,000. [Note they weren't the non-fluoridated communities]