Differences in pediatric dental services under general anesthesia for medicaid and military dependent children

M. B. Johnson, D. P. Cappelli, B. S. Bradshaw, J. C. Mabry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study's purpose was to compare pediatric dental services provided for Medicaid and military dependent children to determine if differences in dental treatment choices exist based on site and payment method. Methods: Subjects included 120 Medicaid patients at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and 120 military dependents at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Demographic data and treatment information were abstracted for children younger than 6 years old receiving dental treatment under general anesthesia between 2002 and 2006. Data was analyzed using Wilcoxon rank sum, Kruskal-Wallis, and Fisher's exact tests. Results: The Medicaid recipients were younger (40.2 vs 49.8 months, P<.001) and more likely to be Hispanic (78% vs 30%, P<.001). The means of decayed teeth, fillings, and stainless steel crowns did not differ between sites. Medicaid children received more composite fillings (P<.001), fewer amalgam fillings (P<.001), fewer pulp therapies (P<.001), more extractions (P=.01), and fewer sealants (P<.001). Age and gender did not affect decay rates, but those of Hispanic ethnicity did experience more decay than non-Hispanics (9.5 vs 8.6, P=.02). Conclusion: This study found no difference in the number of less conservative, albeit more costly, procedures performed with Medicaid children at a university compared to military dependents at a military base.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric dentistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Early childhood caries
  • General anesthesia
  • Medicaid
  • Restorative dentistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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