Productivity in Minnesota Dental Practices with Increased Visits by Older Patients

Stephen K Shuman, Michael J. Loupe, Gestur B. Davidson, Leslie V. Martens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


There is little scientific information on the economic impact of treating increased numbers of older adults, despite the current growth in this population. To assess the impact of patient age on dental practice productivity, we evaluated an economic production function that included the proportions of patient visits in two older age groups (61–69 years, 70+ years) as factors that might affect the dental service production process. We used data from 12,818 patient visits to 31 Minnesota dental practices enrolled in the Minnesota Dental Practice Analysis System (DPAS) between 1980 and 1984. Ordinary least squares multiple linear regression was used to detect potential associations between practice productivity, measured in standardized time and monetary outputs, and the proportions of visits by older patients. We found that increases in the proportion of visits by patients aged 70 years and older were associated with decreases in productivity when we controlled for differences in the mix of services used. Our results support the notion that dental practices may be less productive when providing services to older patients compared to younger patients. These findings may have implications for personnel and policy planning. Further investigation of this issue is warranted because of the limited number of practices included in the study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Public Health Dentistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • age
  • dental practice
  • economics
  • productivity

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