University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Impacts of Socioeconomic Status on Dentoalveolar Trauma

Christina N. Feller, BA, BS; Jazzmyne A. Adams, MPH; David R. Friedland, MD, PhD; Masoud Khani MS; Jake Luo, PhD; David M. Poetker, MD, MA

WMJ. 2023;122(1):32-37.

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Introduction: Children sustain dentoalveolar trauma and lose teeth at the same rate regardless of socioeconomic status; however, debate surrounds these rates in adults. It is known socioeconomic status plays a major role in access and treatment in health care. This study aims to clarify the role of socioeconomic status as a risk factor for dentoalveolar trauma in adults.

Methods: A single center retrospective chart review took place from January 2011 through December 2020 for patients requiring oral maxillofacial surgery consultation in the emergency department, due to either dentoalveolar trauma (Group 1) or other dental condition (Group 2). Demographic information including age, sex, race, marital status, employment status, and type of insurance were collected. Odds ratios were calculated by chi-square analysis with significance set at P < 0.05.

Results: Over the course of 10 years, 247 patients (53% female) required an oral maxillofacial surgery consultation, with 65 (26%) sustaining dentoalveolar trauma. Within this group, there were significantly more subjects who were Black, single, insured with Medicaid, unemployed, and 18 – 39 years old. In the nontraumatic control group, there were significantly more subjects who were White, married, insured with Medicare, and 40 – 59 years old.

Conclusions: Among those seen in the emergency department requiring an oral maxillofacial surgery consultation, those with dentoalveolar trauma have an increased likelihood of being single, Black, insured with Medicaid, unemployed, and 18 – 39 years old. Further research is needed to determine causality and the most critical/influential socioeconomic status factor in sustaining dentoalveolar trauma. Identifying these factors can assist in developing future community-based prevention and educational programs.

Author Affiliations: Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Feller, Adams, Friedland, Poetker); Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wis (Poetker); Department of Health Informatics and Administration, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wis (Khani, Luo).
Corresponding Author: David M. Poetker, MD, MA; 9200 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53226; phone 414.805.3666; email
Funding/Support: This OTO Clinomics project was supported by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin with support by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Award Number UL1TR001436.
Financial Disclosures: David Poetker, MD, MA, is president of Badger Dental Products, LLC, which holds the unlimited license for the patent pending Dento-alveolar trauma stabilizer. This is licensed from the Medical College of Wisconsin, which has submitted the patent.
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