Emergency room visits for many easily prevented dental problems are increasing nationwide, according to a new report. The study by the Pew Center on the States was based partly on hospital data from 24 states. Its findings do not mention every state that was studied, but here's a look at places where the cost or growth rates are high:
_ In Florida, ER visits for dental trouble totaled more than 115,000 in 2010, resulting in more than $88 million in charges. That included more than 40,000 Medicaid patients, a 40 percent increase from 2008.
_ Dental visits to the ER by Oregon Medicaid patients totaled 12,402 in 2010, a 31 percent jump from 2008.
_ South Carolina ER dental visits increased nearly 60 percent in 2009 from four years earlier.
_ Tennessee ER dental visits totaled more than 55,000 in 2009 _ five times more than for burns.
_ Dental visits to North Carolina emergency rooms totaled more than 69,000 in 2009 _ the 10th most common reason for ER treatment in the state.
_ Georgia's 60,000 ER visits for dental problems and oral health in 2007 cost more than $23 million.
_ In New York, ER or surgery center treatment for tooth decay-related trouble in young children cost more than $31 million in 2008, 32 percent higher than in 2004.
_ In Illinois' Cook County, including Chicago, ER dental visits totaled nearly 77,000 from 2008 to 2011.
_ In Maine, dental problems were the main reason for ER visits among Medicaid patients and uninsured young people in 2006.
Source: Pew Center on the States.
Pew center: http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org
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