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Hospitalisation for the surgical removal of impacted teeth: Has Australia followed international trends?

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Author(s): Roslind Preethi George | Estie Kruger | Marc Tennant

Journal: Australasian Medical Journal
ISSN 1836-1935

Volume: 4;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 425;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Impacted teeth | third molars | indigenous | Australia

ABSTRACT
BackgroundThe aim of the study was to undertake a six-year analysisfrom 1999/00 to 2004/05, of the demographiccharacteristics of hospitalisations for the surgical removal ofimpacted teeth in Western Australia under generalanaesthesia.MethodData for the current analysis was obtained from theWestern Australian Hospital Morbidity Data System(HMDS). Gender, age, indigenous status, place of residence,type of hospital admitted, insurance status, and DiagnosticRelated Group (DRG) cost estimates for the procedure wereanalysed.ResultsA total of 37.6% of all oral health-related hospitalisations inWestern Australia over the six years were for the removal ofimpacted teeth. Admitted patients were predominantlyfemales (58.8%) and very few Indigenous people werehospitalised (0.2%). The average age of patients was 21.4years (sd=9.9). Metropolitan patients were hospitalised 1.5times more than rural patients for this condition. Themajority of patients were hospitalised at a privatemetropolitan hospital and were insured. The total cost ofhospitalisation for this condition contributes to 27% of allthe oral health condition-related hospitalisation costs.ConclusionThis study suggests that the hospital-based removal ofimpacted teeth in Western Australia is associated withfactors such as indigenous status, age, gender and privatehospital access along with insurance status raisinginteresting questions over the equity of provision of thisservice.
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