This column critiques the findings from a retrospective medical record review, “Doctor, my tooth hurts, the costs of incomplete dental care in the emergency room,” by E. Davis, A. Deinard, & E. Maiga (2010). The study was designed to examine characteristics of patients presenting to emergency departments (EDs) with dental related problems and their associated costs of care. The study also looked at the frequency of dental related return visits speculated to represent ineffective ED treatment of underlying dental problems. We discuss the findings from this study in the context of growing concern about dental health disparities within the United States, including implications for advanced practice nurse management of dental related problems in the ED.
Emergency Nurse Practitioner Program, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (Dr Evans and Ms Gisness), and Emergency Department, Grady Memorial Hospital, Emory University School of Medicine (Dr Evans and Ms Gisness), Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
Corresponding Author: Dian Dowling Evans, PhD, MS, FNP-BC, Emergency Nurse Practitioner Program, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, 1522 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30322 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Disclosure: The authors report no conflicts of interest.