Florida tops states for children's dental ED visits

Boy Dentist

Florida had the highest rate of children’s use of emergency department (ED) visits for nontraumatic dental conditions, according to a recent study.

Researchers with the oral health nonprofit CareQuest Institute for Oral Health have previously analyzed why and how frequently adults visit an ED for dental conditions that could best be treated in a dental setting. This recent study is the first to explore children’s use of EDs for nontraumatic dental conditions (NTDCs).

Additional key findings for children in Florida include the following:

  • There were 26.7 ED visits for NTDCs per 10,000 children in Florida, compared to approximately 17 in Wisconsin and eight in Utah.
  • Black boys had the highest rate of ED NTDC visits at 50.2 visits per 10,000 children.
  • Medicaid covered 80.6% of ED NTDC visits for children in Florida, compared to approximately 77% in Wisconsin and 56% in Utah.
  • Florida had the highest average charge for ED NTDC visits, ranging from $1,900 to $2,600 depending on the age of the child.

Ultimately, the researchers said that reducing these costly and preventable ED visits for NTDCs is of vital importance, both for ED capacity and because oral health has far-reaching consequences for children.

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