Unintended Consequences and Challenges of Quality Measurements in Dentistry

Enihomo M. Obadan-Udoh; Jean M. Calvo; Sapna Panwar; Kristen Simmons; Joel M. White; Muhammad F. Walji; Elsbeth Kalenderian


BMC Oral Health. 2019;19(38) 

In This Article


As our medical counterparts have embraced quality measurement for improved patient and population health outcomes, so too must the dental profession. The standardization and implementation of diagnostic terminologies in dental offices nationwide is an important step towards achieving widespread quality measurement.[57–59] Without diagnostic terms, the dental profession is severely limited in its ability to measure appropriate treatment and health outcomes. Furthermore, as quality measurement evolves, the challenge of the dental reimbursement structure and payment mechanisms cannot be ignored. It is essential that new dental quality measures account for the subtle nuances involved with delivering high quality dental care, and that smaller dental offices or solo practitioners are not left behind. In the end, our ultimate goal is to ensure the delivery of high quality, patient-centered dental care and effective quality measurement is the first step.