Fast Facts from the WHA Information Center: February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

February 03, 2017

The American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors a month-long national health observance that brings together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, health care providers and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others. The Health Policy Institute (HPI) reported that the number of dental emergency department (ED) visits nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010. The HPI estimates that up to 79 percent of dental ED visits could be diverted to community settings. 

According to the WHA Information Center, between October 2015 and September 2016, there were 1,596 dental-related ED visits for children under 18 years of age in Wisconsin. The average total charge of those visits was $464.

According to the HPI, most dental (ED) visits are non-traumatic dental conditions, and in most cases, patients receive prescriptions for pain or antibiotics for infections. Patients who visit an ED with a non-traumatic dental condition would be better served in a dental office setting due to the availability of definitive care and the likelihood of continuity of care. 

Data provided by the WHA Information Center (WHAIC). WHAIC ( is dedicated to collecting, analyzing and disseminating complete, accurate and timely data and reports about charges, utilization, quality and efficiency provided by Wisconsin hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and other health care providers.

This story originally appeared in the February 03, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter