Influence of Demographics on Patients' Receipt of Endodontic Therapy or Implant Placement

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With the recent advancement in dental treatment modalities, patients are increasingly faced with the dilemma of selecting between root canal treatment (RCT) and implant placement (IP). Data on the influence of demographics on the aforementioned choice appear to be limited. The purpose of this retrospective cohort study was to investigate any association between demographic attributes and patients' receipt of RCT or IP.


The study sample for this computerized retrospective cohort study included 4084 dental school patients who received RCT and/or IP between 2006 and 2011. The following data were abstracted for each patient: age, sex, ethnicity, insurance status, and zip codes; the last variable was the proxy for socioeconomic status (SES). Statistical analysis included descriptive, chi-square test, and computation of odds ratios.


Patient age, sex, race, insurance status, and SES were significantly associated with the choice of endodontic or implant therapy. Older patients were 6 times more likely as younger ones to receive IP. Males were 1.3 times more likely as females to have received IP; whites were twice as likely as blacks for the same treatment. Insured patients were 1.6 times more likely to have received RCT compared with uninsured patients The odds of patients from high SES receiving IP was 2.4 times greater than those from low SES.


Demographic attributes and insurance status significantly affected the receipt of RCT or IP. Clinicians need to be aware that patient demographics and/or dental insurance status play a role in treatment decisions.

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