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Donald Chi Explores Outcomes for Communities Served by Dental Therapists in YK Delta

Posted: 2/12/2018 (CSDE Research)

A study by affiliate Donald Chi, Associate Professor of Oral Health Sciences, and colleagues that explores the role that treatment by Dental Therapists plays in dental health outcomes in Alaska Native communities in the Yukon Kuskokwim (YK) Delta was recently published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry. Using data from the YK Health Corporation dental clinic electronic health record (EHR) and 10 years of Medicaid claims, principal investigator Chi and his co-investigators assessed five community-level outcomes—three for children and two for adults—based on number of Dental Therapist treatment days. The study demonstrates that a higher number of Dental Therapist treatment days is associated with better dental health outcomes—specifically, greater rates of preventative care and lower rates of treatment, such as extractions—for communities in the YK Delta. The full study is accessible below.

CSDE Staff Scientist Matt Dunbar, Assistant Director and Spatial Demographer, and Michael Babb, former Research Scientist and Trainee, were a critical component of this project’s study team. Donald Chi made use of CSDE’s expertise in geocoding and data linking in order to bring together Alaska Medicaid Data and Dental Clinic Health Records based on community of residence. Please contact CSDE staff within any one of our service areas to inquire about how we can support your population research.

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