Introduction: Although dental emergencies are primarily aimed at pain relief, in practice, dental emergency services have been overwhelmed by the massive inflow of patients with less complex cases, which could be resolved at basic levels of health care. They frequently become the main gateway to the system. We investigated the determinant factors of demand at the Central Dental Emergency Unit in Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil.
Materials and methods: The questionnaire was applied to 521 users to evaluate sociodemographic profile; factors that led users to seek the service at the central dental emergency; perception of service offered.
Results: About 80.4% of users went directly to the central dental emergency, even before seeking basic health units. The reasons were difficulty to be attended (34.6%) and incompatible time (9.8%). To the perception of the necessity of the service, responses were problem as urgent (78.3%) and pain was the main complaint (69.1%). The profile we found was unmarried (41.5%), male (52.2%), white (62.8%), aged 30 to 59 (52.2%), incomplete basic education (41.6%), family income up to 2 minimum wages (47.4%), and no medical/dental plan (88.9%).
Conclusion: It was concluded that the users of central dental emergency come from all sectors of the city, due to difficult access to basic health units; they consider their complaint urgent; and they are satisfied with the service offered.
Clinical significance: To meet the profile of the user urgency’s service so that it is not overloaded with demand that can be fulfilled in basic health units.
Keywords: Demand for health services, Dental emergency, Oral health.
How to cite this article: Matsumoto MSA, Gatti MAN, de Conti MHS, de AP Simeão SF, de Oliveira Braga Franzolin S, Marta SN. Determinants of Demand in the Public Dental Emergency Service. J Contemp Dent Pract 2017;18(2):156-161.
Source of Support: Nil
Conflict of Interest: None