Racial differences in baseline treatment preference as predictors of receiving a dental extraction versus root canal therapy during 48 months of follow-up

Academic Article


  • Objective: This study aimed to test hypotheses that: a) treatment preference as stated at baseline predicts subsequent receipt of extraction (EXT) versus root canal treatment; and b) racial differences in treatment preference at baseline account for racial differences in receipt of these treatments during follow-up. Methods: Data were taken from the Florida Dental Care Study. This stratified random sample included at baseline 873 subjects, all of whom were 45 years old or older, reported race as non-Hispanic African American or non-Hispanic white, and had at least one tooth. At baseline, participants were asked about past dental care characteristics, history of or current presence of various dental diseases and conditions, and sociodemographic circumstance. An EXT/root canal treatment "CHOICE" scenario was also queried at baseline. Predisposing, enabling, and need factors were tested as predictors of EXT/root canal treatment received during follow-up. Bivariate multivariable logistic regression analyses quantified associations between the outcomes (EXT/root canal) and the predictors. Results: Receipt of EXT or root canal treatment during follow-up was strongly related to race even after people with mobile teeth at baseline were excluded from the analysis. Certain baseline factors (tooth mobility, periodontal attachment level, and ability to pay an unexpected dental bill) strongly predicted EXT/root canal treatment receipt during follow-up, although significant race effects remained; however, including "CHOICE" removed the race effect. Conclusions: Baseline treatment preference strongly predicts subsequent receipt of EXT versus root canal treatment. Racial differences in treatment received during follow-up were explained by baseline racial differences in treatment preference, tooth mobility, and periodontal status. © 2008, American Association of Public Health Dentistry.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Boykin MJ; Gilbert GH; Tilashalski KR; Litaker MS
  • Start Page

  • 41
  • End Page

  • 47
  • Volume

  • 69
  • Issue

  • 1