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Dental demystification: A retrospective analysis of patterns of care under the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme

Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management
Volume 8 Issue 1 (2013)

Abstract: Objective: This study examines patterns of care from utilisation of the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS). By firstly providing a descriptive summary of dental services, the study aims to provide information for health professionals so that patterns of care may be better understood in the context of this scheme and its cost/benefit to general health. Methods: A retrospective analysis of data pertaining to Medicare items related to general dentistry (85011- 87777) were extracted from the Medicare Benefits Schedule database (MBS) online for years 2007-2010, and formed the basis for this study. Results: Approximately 420,000 patients were seen under the CDDS representing 2% of the Australian population and costing over $A1.2 billion. Based on number of services, the most frequent services were diagnostic, restorative and prosthodontic. Adjusting for population discrepancies, there appears to be an overutlisation of services in the state of New South Wales, predominately in the provision of fixed prosthodontic services (crowns). A majority of restorations and crowns were aesthetic. Males had higher frequencies of extractions and tended to have longer functioning metallic restorations placed. Females presented more frequently for periodic reviews. Preventive procedures such as saliva testing were infrequent in this medically compromised cohort and were overshadowed by the provision of aesthetic crowns. Conclusion: A retrospective analysis of the CDDS highlighted variability in patterns of care across jurisdictions. The CDDS resulted in the unsustainably high provision of services that may not justify its expenditure from a disease management perspective. There is a need for greater emphasis on preventive procedures under this program but the challenge is emphasising this in private practice where financial incentive appears to be a driver for service provision.

To cite this article: Lam, R; Kruger, E and Tennant, M. Dental demystification: A retrospective analysis of patterns of care under the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme [online]. Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2013: 30-38. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=489639774737855;res=IELHEA> ISSN: 1833-3818. [cited 29 Aug 16].

Personal Author: Lam, R; Kruger, E; Tennant, M; Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2013: 30-38 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1833-3818 Subject: Chronically ill--Medical care--Finance; Chronically ill--Dental care; Dental public health; Dental personnel; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Centre for Rural and Remote Oral Health, University of Western Australia
(2) Associate Professor, Centre for Rural and Remote Oral Health, University of Western Australia, email: ekruger@crroh.uwa.edu.au
(3) Winthrop Professor/Director, Centre for Rural and Remote Oral Health, University of Western Australia

Database: Health Collection