Outcomes of Hospitalizations Attributed to Periapical Abscess from 2000 to 2008: A Longitudinal Trend Analysis



      Root canal therapy is a highly successful in-office treatment and preventive measure against periapical abscesses. Left untreated, periapical abscesses can have serious consequences that can lead to hospitalization. This study observes the trends of hospitalizations attributed to periapical abscesses.


      A retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (years 2000–2008) was used; we selected cases with a primary diagnosis of a periapical abscess with/without sinus involvement. The demographic characteristics and outcomes were examined. Each individual hospitalization was the unit of analysis.


      During the 9-year study period, a total of 61,439 hospitalizations were primarily attributed to periapical abscesses in the United States. The average age was 37 years, and 89% of all hospitalizations occurred on an emergency/urgent basis. The mean length of stay was 2.96 days, and a total of 66 patients died in hospitals. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance plans paid for 18.7%, 25.2%, and 33.4% of hospitalizations, respectively. Uninsured patients accounted for 18.5% of hospitalizations. Significant predictors that influenced both hospital charges and length of stay included age, race, insurance status, a periapical abscess with sinus involvement, geographic region of country, the Charlson comorbidity index, and the year of study (P < .05).


      The current study highlights the increasing burden of hospitalization of patients with periapical abscesses over a 9-year study period from 2000 to 2008. The high-risk groups likely to seek a hospital setting for the treatment of periapical abscesses were identified as were groups associated with higher hospital charges and a longer length of stay.

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