oral care; oral care availability; health care; emergency room utilization


Medicine and Health Sciences


A huge problem in the current health system is that Oral care is not currently integrated into the overall health system, given the lack of dental coverage for underserved adults, and the insufficient amount of dentists available for individuals with dental coverage.

The lack of education regarding the importance of oral health and shortage in the number of dentists and dental coverage leads to an influx of patients with mild to severe dental problems at the emergency departments (EDs) across the country. Many studies conclude that by integrating oral health into the overall health system, there would an increase in availability for oral care that would be beneficial to patients, and it would be easier and more affordable for the ED to deal with an influx of patients with oral problems. This study examines reasons why patients with dental problems visit the ED at any of MedStar’s hospitals. The study will allow us to improve our current understanding of dental emergencies treated at EDs.

The study uses MedStar’s database to identify individuals who visited the ED for oral issues or emergencies. We will examine correlations between the dental emergency type and certain demographics as well as insurance type.