Many Ontarians seek hospital care for their dental problems. This session will present a study which assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospital visits for non-traumatic dental conditions in Ontario. Data from IntelliHealth Ontario were retrieved for 2016 to 2020 to assess yearly trends of hospital visits before and during COVID-19. Monthly trends were also reviewed for 2019 and 2020.
The results from our study show that in 2020, there was a reduction of 40% in day surgeries, 21% in emergency department visits (ED) and 8% in hospitalizations related to dental problems compared to 2019. Stratified by month, the largest reductions were observed in April 2020, the first full month when public health measures were in place in Ontario: 96% in day surgeries; 50% in ED visits; and 38% reductions in hospitalizations when compared to the same month in 2019. In May 2020, day surgeries and ED visits remained reduced, while hospitalization rates increased by 31%. Our research showed that during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears that Ontarians faced barriers to accessing dental care in hospital settings. It also appears that such barriers may have worsened dental problems, resulting in increased hospitalizations.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
Dr. Sonica Singhal, BDS, PhD, is a public health dentist working at Public Health Ontario and the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on understanding and addressing inequities in oral healthcare systems; also, program design, implementation, and evaluation to gain system efficiencies.
The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.
Public Health Ontario Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.
College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.
PHO Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).
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