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Int J Dent Hyg. 2011 Feb;9(1):17-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5037.2009.00416.x.

Self-reported emergency room visits for dental problems.

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Community Dental Health Services Research Unit, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.



To estimate the prevalence of hospital emergency room visits for dental problems not associated with trauma in Canada, and to explore the characteristics that influence such visits.


Data were collected through a cross-sectional and retrospective national telephone interview survey of 1005 Canadians aged 18 years and over using random digit dialling. Participants were asked if they had ever visited a hospital emergency room for a dental problem not associated with trauma. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were undertaken.


A total of 54 people, or 5.4% of the sample reported having to visit an ER in the past for a dental problem not associated with trauma. Income, painful aching in one's mouth in the previous month, and having to spend a day in bed because of a dental problem in the last 2 weeks, appear to be the dominant predictors of this outcome.


Access to dental insurance or public care mitigates the use of hospital care for dental problems that are best treated in the dental care setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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