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Original Research

Open Access

Emergency dental treatment among patients waitlisted for the operating room

  • Monica Ashok1
  • Christie Lumsden2
  • Aaron Myers3,*,
  • Richard Yoon3

1Private Practitioner, New York, NY, USA

2Section of Oral, Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Sciences at the College of Dental Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, 10032 New York, NY, USA

3Section of Growth and Development, College of Dental Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, 10032 New York, NY, USA

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2023.015 Vol.47,Issue 3,May 2023 pp.54-58

Submitted: 12 October 2022 Accepted: 09 December 2022

Published: 03 May 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Aaron Myers E-mail:


This restrospective chart review examined dental emergencies among patients waitlisted for the operating room at an outpatient community dental clinic in a large academic medical center. Dental records of ASA I or II patients, who had dental restorations and/or extractions in the operating room between July 2015 to May 2019 were reviewed. Length of time the patient was waitlisted and number of emergency dental treatments (i.e., therapeutic pulpotomy or a dental extraction due to acute dental pain or infection) completed in the outpatient dental clinic during the wait period were collected. Data were dichotomized as <2 and ≥2 emergency treatments. Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the groups. Of 417 charts reviewed, 294 patients met the inclusion criteria. The average time on the waitlist was 228 days. The majority of patients (n = 222; 75.3%) had no emergency dental treatment while waitlisted. Those who had two or more emergency treatments (n = 34; 11.5%) were waitlisted longer than those who had fewer than two (n = 261; 88.5%) (p < 0.05). This study highlights the importance of early intervention (e.g., scheduled periodic follow-ups, interim caries arresting medication) and an ongoing discussion of possible alternatives while waitlisted. Future research identifying predictors of utilization of emergency services while waitlisted is warranted and may help identify those at increased risk of developing acute dental emergencies.


Dental caries; Pediatric dentistry; Emergency treatment

Cite and Share

Monica Ashok,Christie Lumsden,Aaron Myers,Richard Yoon. Emergency dental treatment among patients waitlisted for the operating room. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2023. 47(3);54-58.


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