We conducted a cohort study of 7,760 dentists in Taiwan between 2003 and 2007 to assess the risk of outpatient visit among dentists. Control groups included physicians and other health personnel. Over the 5-yr study period, the dentist cohort made a total of 270,712 outpatient visits, representing an incidence rate of 7,038 visits /103 person-years. Compared to physicians, dentists experienced a significantly reduced covariate adjusted rate ratio (ARR) for all-cause visits (ARR=0.59, 95%CI=0.58-0.59), as well as for nearly all other causes, except neoplasm (ARR=1.06, 95%CI=1.02-1.09). Compared to other health personnel, the dentists still experienced a significantly reduced ARR for all causes (ARR=0.70), but had a slightly but significantly increased risk for endocrine/metabolic/immunity (ARR=1.04, 95%CI=1.02-1.05) and mental (ARR=1.04, 95%CI=1.01-1.07) disorders. Although the dentists in Taiwan utilized lesser outpatient visits than did their medical colleagues, they tended to have slightly higher rates of outpatient visits for neoplasm, endocrine/metabolic/immunity disorders, and mental illnesses. Policy makers and hospital administrators must not overlook dentists' potentially unseen health problems. A mandatory periodical physical examination for dentists can seriously be considered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis