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Urgent Dental Care Use in the North-East and Cumbria: Predicting Repeat Attendance

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Charlotte CurrieORCiD, Simon Stone, Professor Mark PearceORCiD, David Landes, Professor Justin DurhamORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Introduction: Around one-third of the UK population are “problem-orientated dental attenders” only seeking care when suffering with dental pain, often on a repeated basis to secondary care. Little is known about attendance in primary care. The aim was to examine the period prevalence of repeat urgent care attenders and establish predictors of repeat attendance in primary careMethods: Data on urgent and emergency dental care attendances in primary dental care in the North-East and Cumbria were analysed from 2013 to 2019, variables included patient gender, 10-year age band, lower super output area and Index of Multiple Deprivation. Period prevalence was calculated and data were considered year by year to identify trends in attendances. Analysis was with descriptive statistics and predictors of repeat attendance were identified using logistic regression modelling. Results: Over the 6-year period there were 601,432 attendances for urgent primary dental care, equating to a period prevalence of 2.76% for the geographic population studied. 16.15% of attendances were repeat attendances (period prevalence 0.45%), and predictors included: female gender, residence in deprived and rural areas. All urgent care attendances decreased over the 6-year period, with one-off attendances beginning to increase again in 2019, whilst repeat attendances stabilised.Conclusion: Interventions to encourage regular dental attendances should be targeted at patients from the most deprived and rural areas of the North-East and Cumbria, however a decrease in repeat attendance was noted in these areas.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Currie CC, Stone SJ, Pearce MS, Landes D, Durham J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 2022

Volume: 232

Pages: 164-171

Online publication date: 11/02/2022

Acceptance date: 05/04/2021

Date deposited: 07/04/2021

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5373

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41415-022-3886-6


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Funder referenceFunder name
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Doctoral Research Fellowship