Health Policy

Dental Utilization for Medicaid-Enrolled Adults with Developmental Disabilities in Iowa Residential Care Facilities

Brister, T.M.; Damiano, P.C.; Momany, E.T.; Chalmers, J.M.; Kanellis, M.J.
2008 Sep-Oct


The goal of this study was to evaluate the dental utilization of Medicaid-enrolled adults in Iowa residential care facilities (n=1423). Medicaid enrollment and claims files for 2003 were used, as well as information from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. Dental utilization was defined as having any dental visit during 2003. Of the residents, 74.1 percent utilized at least one dental service in 2003. Residents in facilities that were part of smaller organizations, and younger residents, were more likely to have had a dental visit. Of those with a visit, over 80 percent received a preventive service but this declined with age. Despite additional barriers, dental utilization was generally good for Medicaid-enrolled residents of residential care facilities in Iowa. Residents in smaller facilities of smaller organizations received more personalized care. Older residents were less likely to have a parent involved, were more likely to be edentulous, and sought care less frequently.