Effectiveness of dental emergency services in a community health center in Santiago, Chile.
AbstractObjective: Describe the demographic characteristics of the population attending the dental emergency services in health Center Juan Petrinovic, located in Santiago, Chile, and examine the effectiveness of dental treatment given to this population. Material and Methods: Before-after study, where 45 patients were surveyed twice, first, before their dental care and then in phone call follow-up. Patients completed interviewer-administered surveys that asked about patients’ self-reported pain level, oral health-related quality of life, and demographic information. Demographic information collected included age, sex, educational level, type of health insurance, and municipal district where patients lived. Self-reported pain level was measured using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and oral health quality of life was measured using the Dental Health Status Quality of Life Questionnaire (DS-QoL). Statistical descriptive analyses were performed, and statistical tests were applied to determine if the care given was effective on pain relief and increased quality of life status. Results: Most of the patients seeking care at the dental emergency service were female (67%), adults (average age 46 years), with high school education (58%), and FONASA health insurance (98%). The most common reason for using dental emergency services was pain (51%). Dental treatment given to the patients was effective in relieving pain (reduction in VAS score was 34.34 between pre and post attention) and improving their oral health status (reduction in DS-QoL score was 3.18 between pre and post attention). Conclusion: This dental emergency service was effective in reducing pain and improving the quality of life of the patient.
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