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J Dent Res. 2013 Aug;92(8):694-701. doi: 10.1177/0022034513492336. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Patient stratification for preventive care in dentistry.

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Michigan Center for Oral Health Research, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


Prevention reduces tooth loss, but little evidence supports biannual preventive care for all adults. We used risk-based approaches to test tooth loss association with 1 vs. 2 annual preventive visits in high-risk (HiR) and low-risk (LoR) patients. Insurance claims for 16 years for 5,117 adults were evaluated retrospectively for tooth extraction events. Patients were classified as HiR for progressive periodontitis if they had ≥ 1 of the risk factors (RFs) smoking, diabetes, interleukin-1 genotype; or as LoR if no RFs. LoR event rates were 13.8% and 16.4% for 2 or 1 annual preventive visits (absolute risk reduction, 2.6%; 95%CI, 0.5% to 5.8%; p = .092). HiR event rates were 16.9% and 22.1% for 2 and 1 preventive visits (absolute risk reduction, 5.2%; 95%CI, 1.8% to 8.4%; p = .002). Increasing RFs increased events (p < .001). Oral health care costs were not increased by any single RF, regardless of prevention frequency (p > .41), but multiple RFs increased costs vs. no (p < .001) or 1 RF (p = .001). For LoR individuals, the association between preventive dental visits and tooth loss was not significantly different whether the frequency was once or twice annually. A personalized medicine approach combining gene biomarkers with conventional risk factors to stratify populations may be useful in resource allocation for preventive dentistry (, NCT01584479).


comparative effectiveness research; health care delivery; interleukin polymorphisms; oral health; periodontal disease; personalized medicine

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