Medical College of Wisconsin
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Differences in utilization of dental procedures by children enrolled in Wisconsin Medicaid and Delta Dental insurance plans. J Public Health Dent 2017 Dec;77(1):86-92



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85006713549   1 Citation


BACKGROUND: Few studies have directly compared dental procedures provided in public and private insurance plans for enrollees living in dental health professional shortage areas (DHPSAs). We examined the rates for the different types of dental procedures received by 0-18-year-old children living in DHPSAs and non-DHPSAs who were enrolled in Medicaid and those enrolled under Delta Dental of Wisconsin (DDW) for years 2002 to 2008.

METHODS: Medicaid and DDW dental claims data for 2002 to 2008 was analyzed. Enrollees were divided into DDW-DHPSA and non-DHPSA and Medicaid-DHPSA and non-DHPSA groups. Descriptive and multivariable analyses using over-dispersed Poisson regression were performed to examine the effect of living in DHPSAs and insurance type in relation to the number of procedures received.

RESULTS: Approximately 49 and 65 percent of children living in non-DHPSAs that were enrolled in Medicaid and DDW received at least one preventive dental procedure annually, respectively. Children in DDW non-DHPSA group had 1.79 times as many preventive, 0.27 times fewer complex restorative and 0.51 times fewer endodontic procedures respectively, compared to those in Medicaid non-DHPSA group. Children enrolled in DDW-DHPSA group had 1.53 times as many preventive and 0.25 times fewer complex restorative procedures, compared to children in Medicaid-DHPSA group.

CONCLUSIONS: DDW enrollees had significantly higher utilization rates for preventive procedures than children in Medicaid. There were significant differences across Medicaid and DDW between non-DHPSA and DHPSA for most dental procedures received by enrollees.

Author List

Bhagavatula P, Xiang Q, Szabo A, Eichmiller F, Okunseri C


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

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

Child, Preschool
Dental Care for Children
Health Services Accessibility
Insurance, Dental
Primary Prevention
United States
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a