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Medicaid Adult Benefit Linked to Tooth Saving Procedures

Alexandria, VA, USA – At the 95th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), researcher Lynn Doan, University of Colorado, School of Dental Medicine, Aurora “Medicaid Adult Dental Benefit Impact on Dental Utilization, University Clinic.” The IADR General Session was held in conjunction with the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research and the 41st Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research. 

Doan sought to determine if in the Medicaid adult population, seen at the Univeristy of Colordo, , what is the effect of the new Medicaid adult benefit on the numbers of patients and types of services utilized, compared before and after the implementation of the benefit?  This retrospective study compared the utilization of services provided 2-years prior and 2-years after the Medicaid adult benefit was made available. Through the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine (CU-SODM) electronic dental record, all adult Medicaid dental patients’ (ages 21+) charts were extracted for CDT dental procedure codes, with a focus on tooth extraction compared to tooth saving procedures. Graphical analysis and Pearson’s Chi-Squared tests were applied to assess statistical significance over time.  After implementation of the Medicaid adult benefit, the number of patients seen at the school under this program increased by a factor of 4.5. The geographic range increased with a higher number of patients coming from further distances to receive dental care. There was a 51% increase in tooth saving procedures, which was statistically significant (p=0.0013). Additionally, there was a 22% decrease in extractions, while not statistically significant, a downward trend was clear.

Doan concluded based on the findings at the school clinics, more adult patients utilized the benefits; and chose to receive more tooth saving procedures and less extractions after implementation of the Medicaid adult benefit. This is the first Medicaid study conducted at the University of Colorado and can be used as a baseline for future studies.  The focus was on the utilization of Medicaid adult benefits at the dental school which was only a small proportion of the state-wide Medicaid population. Therefore, this data is not generalizable for statewide assessments of the program.

This is a summary of abstract #1819 titled “Medicaid Adult Dental Benefit Impact on Dental Utilization, University Clinic”, presented by Lynn Doan on Friday, March 24, 2017, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. at Moscone West, San Francisco, Calif., USA. 

About the International and American Associations for Dental Research
The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with nearly 11,000 individual members worldwide, dedicated to: (1) advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide, (2) supporting and representing the oral health research community, and (3) facilitating the communication and application of research findings. To learn more, visit
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