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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2009 May;20(2):458-72. doi: 10.1353/hpu.0.0139.

Preventive dental service utilization for Medicaid-enrolled children in New Hampshire: a comparison of care provided by pediatric dentists and general dentists.

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University of Iowa, College of Dentistry, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Iowa City, USA.


In this study, we compared preventive dental utilization through visits to a pediatric dentist (PD) vs. visits to a general dentist (GD) among Medicaid-enrolled children in New Hampshire (n = 12,964). Dental claims were analyzed using conditional logistic regression models. After adjusting for covariates, children seen by a PD were 51% more likely to have received fluoride treatment, 26% more likely to have had at least two dental examinations, and 19% more likely to have received a sealant than children seen by a GD. Overall, our results suggest that children seen by a PD were more likely to have received preventive services than those seen by a GD. Because Medicaid-enrolled children are at increased risk for poor oral health, policies should be enacted to ensure that high-risk children receive appropriate and regular prevention-oriented dental care.

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