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Medications prescribed in emergency departments for nontraumatic dental condition visits in the United States. Med Care 2012 Jun;50(6):508-12 PMID: 22584886 PMCID: PMC3353147

Pubmed ID



BACKGROUND: Prior research has documented factors associated with nontraumatic dental condition (NTDC) visits to emergency departments (EDs), but little is known about the care received by patients in EDs for NTDC visits.

OBJECTIVE: We examined national trends in prescription of analgesics and antibiotics in EDs for NTDC visits in the United States.

RESEARCH DESIGN: We analyzed data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care survey from 1997 to 2007. We used a multivariable logistic regression model to examine factors associated with receiving analgesics and antibiotics for NTDC visits in EDs.

RESULTS: Overall 74% received at least 1 analgesic, 56% received at least 1 antibiotic, and 13% received no medication at all during NTDC visits to EDs. The prescription of medications at EDs for NTDC visits steadily increased over time for analgesics (odds ratio=1.11/y, P<0.0001) and antibiotics (odds ratio=1.06/y, P<0.0001). In the multivariable analysis, self-pay patients had significantly higher adjusted odds of receiving antibiotics, whereas those with nondental reasons for visits and children (0-4 y) had significantly lower adjusted odds of receiving a prescription for antibiotics in EDs for NTDC visits. Children (0-4 y), adults (53-72 y), and older adults (73 y and older) had lower adjusted odds (P<0.001) of receiving analgesics.

CONCLUSIONS: Nationally, analgesic and antibiotic prescriptions for NTDC visits to EDs have increased substantially over time. Self-pay patients had significantly higher odds of being prescribed antibiotics. Adults over 53 years and especially those 73 years and older had significantly lower odds of receiving analgesics in EDs for NTDC visits.

Author List

Okunseri C, Okunseri E, Thorpe JM, Xiang Q, Szabo A


Christopher Okunseri DDS,MS Associate Professor and Director in the Clinical Services department at Marquette University
Aniko Szabo PhD Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-84862069741   30 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Age Factors
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Child, Preschool
Drug Prescriptions
Drug Utilization
Emergency Service, Hospital
Middle Aged
Practice Patterns, Physicians'
Sex Factors
Socioeconomic Factors
Stomatognathic Diseases
United States
Young Adult
jenkins-FCD Prod-299 9ef562391eceb2b8f95265c767fbba1ce5a52fd6