To further explore economic relationships between patient age and dental practice productivity detected in previous studies, this study investigated the effects of variations in the mix of services used by different age groups on time and dollar‐based dental practice outputs. Production function models for dental services were estimated using data from 31 Minnesota general dental practices reporting increased visits by older adults between June, 1980 and December, 1984. Analysis suggested that standardised time‐based measures of productivity were not greatly affected by differences in the types of services used by different age groups. In contrast, differences in service mix between age groups exerted a substantial influence on dollar‐based productivity that was independent of patient age. Overall, dental practices were less productive with older patients, but the decline in monetary productivity was not evident until patient age was disaggregated from differences in service use by different age groups.
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|Published - Jul 1994