Role of pharmacists in consulting with the underserved regarding toothache pain

Leonard A. Cohen, Arthur J. Bonito, Donald R. Akin, Richard J. Manski, Mark D. Macek, Robert R. Edwards, Llewellyn J. Cornelius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To examine the pharmacist's role in managing toothache pain from the patient's perspective. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Maryland during April and May 2006. Participants: 5,556 low-income white, black, and Hispanic households were screened to identify 398 households with at least one adult who had experienced a toothache during the previous 12 months. Intervention: Telephone screening followed by telephone interview concerning treatment sought for most recent toothache. Main outcome measure: Whether a pharmacist was consulted for toothache pain. Results: Interviews were completed for 68.3% of eligible households. One of five respondents consulted a pharmacist regarding toothache pain. No differences were noted among demographic groups other than differences related to age. No association was observed between respondents asking for advice from pharmacists and the number of toothaches they experienced during the previous 10 years or the pain level of their most recent toothache; however, an association was seen between the duration of the most recent toothache and the degree to which the toothache interfered with daily activities. Approximately 90% of respondents adhered to pharmacist advice, while 55.7% reported that the advice helped "a lot." Conclusion: Pharmacists have an important role to play in alleviating toothache pain, especially among lower-income individuals without ready access to traditional dental services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-42
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Ethnicity
  • Oral health
  • Pharmacy practice
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Medicine(all)

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