Emergency care provided in a Greek dental school and analysis of the patients' demographic characteristics: a prospective study.

International dental journal

PubMedID: 27302884

Farmakis ER, Palamidakis FD, Skondra FG, Nikoloudaki G, Pantazis N. Emergency care provided in a Greek dental school and analysis of the patients' demographic characteristics: a prospective study. Int Dent J. 2016;.
OBJECTIVES
The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of pain of endodontic origin and its relationship with socio-economic and demographic factors among patients seeking unscheduled urgent dental care.

METHODS
Patients attending the Emergency Clinic of Athens Dental School, Greece, between November 2011 and June 2012, were evaluated to determine their socio-economic profile, dental problem and treatment required. The facility operated from Monday to Friday, from 8.30 am to 1.00 pm, excluding the 4 weeks encompassing the Christmas and Easter holidays. In total, 533 patients were assessed regarding gender, age, ethnicity, occupation, reason for visiting, diagnosis and treatment provided. The data obtained were recorded, reviewed, coded and analysed using Poisson regression models.

RESULTS
Mondays and Wednesdays were the busiest days of the week. The most common occupation among the patients was 'unemployed'. Pain of endodontic origin (reversible or irreversible pulpitis, or acute apical periodontitis) was the prevailing reason for the visit. The most frequent treatments administered were pulpectomy and drainage. Prescriptions for medications were rare.

CONCLUSION
Services were requested primarily by individuals who were experiencing acute pain of endodontic origin, had low or no income and were available during morning hours, probably because of the service's low cost and operational hours. Prospective studies, such as the present investigation, can provide epidemiological evidence and indicate areas in the infrastructure of emergency services which may be improved. Additionally, such studies can provide rationale for public insurance programs and can generate profiles of the patients who utilise these low-cost public services.