Background: To determine if expenditures for dentistry (DENT) correlate with severity of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Methods: A total of 10,457 subjects were enrolled from January 2008 to December 2010, divided into three groups: healthy control (HC) group (n = 1,438), high risk (HR) group (n = 3,392), and CKD group (n = 5,627). Five stages were further categorized for the CKD group. OPD utilization and expenditures for western medicine (WM), DENT, and TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) were analyzed retrospectively (2000-2008) using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database. Three major areas were analyzed among groups CKD, HR and HC in this study: 1) demographic data and medical history; 2) utilization (visits/person/year) and expenditures (9-year cumulative expenditure, expenditure/person/year) for OPD services in WM, DENT, and TCM; and 3) utilization and expenditures for dental OPD services, particularly in dental filling, root canal and periodontal therapy. Results: OPD utilization and expenditures of WM increased significantly for the CKD group compared with the HR and HC groups, and increased steadily along with the severity of CKD stages. However, overall DENT and TCM utilization and expenditures did not increase for the CKD group. In comparison among different CKD stages, the average expenditures and utilization for DENT including restorative filling and periodontal therapy, but not root canal therapy, showed significant decreases according to severity of CKD stage, indicating less DENT OPD utilization with progression of CKD. Conclusions: Patients with advanced CKD used DENT OPD service less frequently. However, the connection between CKD and DENT service utilization requires further study.
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