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Revisiting School Dental Check-up Programs.

journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-05, 04:02 authored by Tan NguyenTan Nguyen, Michael Vivian Morgan, Sajeev Koshy, Shibu Mathew, Samantha Lew
Background: To investigate whether a targeted school-based dental check-up program can increase dental access and retain child patients using the local public dental service, and investigate the dental caries prevalence of children within the target population Methods: A quasi-experimental convenience sample (n=465) of enrolled school children aged between 3 and 12 years old were invited to participate in northern metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria. Two dental examiners were calibrated using the modified International Caries Detection and Assessment System II. Data analysis evaluated children receiving a school dental check-up (intervention) and children attending usual care at the local public dental service (reference). The null hypothesis (H0= 0.50) tested whether children attended their referred follow-up dental appointment. Results: In the intervention group, there was a 34% child participation rate; 67% of children in the intervention group have never used the local public dental service compared to the 31 % in the reference group (p<0.000 I). A total of 84 children (56%) were referred; 62 children (74%) attended their follow-up dental appointments (p<0.0001). There is moderate evidence that the school-based dental check-up program enhanced access to dental care for children from low socioeconomic backgrounds (p=0.013). The mean dental caries prevalence for the deciduous and permanent teeth in the intervention group is dmf-s/dmf-t 3.4/ 1.9 and DMF-S/DMF-T 0.5/0.2, respectively. Conclusions: The targeted school-based dental check-up program proved beneficial by improving dental access and child retention for timely and appropriate dental management. A larger sample size is recommended to affirm the findings. Further research is required to improve child participation using positive consent methods.

History

Journal

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Oral Health Therapy

Volume

4

Pagination

6-12

Issue

2

Publisher

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Oral Health Therapy

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