Identifying unaddressed systemic health conditions at dental visits: patients who visited dental practices but not general health care providers in 2008

Am J Public Health. 2012 Feb;102(2):253-5. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300420. Epub 2011 Dec 15.


We assessed the proportion and characteristics of patients who do not regularly visit general health care providers but do visit dentists and whose unaddressed systemic health conditions could therefore be identified by their dentist. Of the 26.0% of children and 24.1% of adults that did not access general outpatient health care in 2008, 34.7% and 23.1%, respectively, visited a dentist. They varied by census region, family income, and sociodemographics. Dental practices can serve as alternate sites of opportunity to identify health concerns among diverse groups of US patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Offices
  • Dentists / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • General Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Office Visits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult