Head Start Collaboration Program

Authors: Capone, M; Joseph, L

Source: Journal of Dental Hygiene, 1 January 2007, vol. 81, no. 1, pp. 37-37(1)


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The Dental Hygiene Department at Farmingdale State University of New York, in collaboration with the Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County, developed an innovative oral health education, screening, and service program. The purposes of this program were to increase oral health awareness through education, to identify the need for dental treatment, and to provide access to dental hygiene preventive services for the children in Head Start Programs through out Nassau County. This unique program utilized existing facilities, faculty, and dental hygiene students to provide a point-of-entry into the oral health care delievery system.

The children arrived at the Dental Hygiene Care Center by bus and were chaperoned by Head Start Staff. A completed health history form and consent form were presented to the faculty. Each child was paired with a dental hygiene student who reviewed the health history, completed an intra oral and extra oral exam, provided oral health education, and performed an oral prophylaxis. Dental hygiene faculty reviewed student findings and the supervising dentist cosigned the screening form. The completed screening forms were returned to the Head Start project coordinator.

This program resulted in the provision of preventive services to 127 Head Start children. The results of the dental screening identified 42 children in need of nonurgent dental treatment and 28 children in need of immediate dental care. Referrals for treatment and follow-up of actual treatment was the responsiblitity of the Head Start Program.

This collaborative program was initiated in an effort to assess the need and meet the oral health challenge of Nassau County Head Start Children. The services provided helped reduce health disparities and improve oral health outcomes.

Document Type: Abstract

Affiliations: Farmingdale State University of New York.

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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