To investigate whether early or regular preventive dental visit () reduces restorative or emergency dental care and costs for low‐income children.
Enrollees during 1998–2012 in the Alabama program, Kids.
Retrospective cohort study using claims data for children continuously enrolled in Kids for at least 4 years. Analyses are conducted separately for children 0–4 years, 4–9 years, and >9 years. For 0–4 years, the intervention of interest is whether they have at least one before age 3. For the other two age groups, interventions of interest are if they have regular s during each of the first 3 years, and if they have claims for a sealant in the first 3 years. Outcomes—namely restorative and emergency dental service and costs—are measured in the fourth year. To account for selection into , a high‐dimensional propensity scores approach is utilized.
Claims data were obtained from Kids.
Only sealants are associated with a reduced likelihood of using restorative and emergency services and costs.
Whether s without sealants actually reduce restorative/emergency pediatric dental services is questionable. Further research into benefits of is needed.