Health and Mental Health
Untreated Dental Disease
Definition: The number of emergency department visits for dental pain at Boone Hospital Center and University of Missouri Health Care.
Rationale: Boone County has a significant problem regarding access to oral health services for low-income persons or persons who lack dental insurance. Oral health disease is related to poor control of other chronic illnesses and premature births. Dentist participation rates and services covered by Medicaid are inadequate.
Data Source: There is no standardized collection/reporting of this information. This problem is viewed by public health professionals as significant enough to warrant annual contacts with local emergency departments to obtain a report on the number of visits for dental pain. These visits are considered a last resort for management of the pain.