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Acceptance of Preventive Dental Services for Children at a Retail-Based Clinic: A Pilot Study

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Purpose: Low-income children with high caries risk are disproportionately affected by poor access to dental care. Retail-based clinics (RBCs) can provide accessible ancillary oral health care. The purposes of this study were: (1) to measure caregivers' acceptance rate of an oral health screening, fluoride varnish (FV) application, and caries risk assessment offered to children on a walk-in basis in an RBC; and (2) to categorize the caries risk and demographics among the participants.
Methods: Screenings and FV applications were provided to children younger than 18 years at a Walgreens Health Care Clinic in Baltimore, Md., USA, from October 2016 to October 2017. The acceptance rate and caries risk using the American Dental Association caries risk assessment form were documented. Descriptive statistics and Fisher's exact test were used to analyze the data.
Results: Eighty-five children and their caretakers were approached and 32 (38 percent) agreed to participate. Most children had high caries risk (84.3 percent) and a dental home (81.2 percent), but only 50 percent reported visiting their dentist in the last year.
Conclusion: Our results demonstrate modest acceptance of FV application for children on a convenience basis. This population had predominantly high caries risk, with poor adherence to follow-up with their dental home. Retail-based dental care should not replace the dental home but could support it by increasing access to preventive dental care in children. (J Dent Child 2019;86(1):40-6)
Received July 2, 2018; Last Revision August 13, 2018; Accepted August 13, 2018.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant professor, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., USA., Email: [email protected] 2: Research assistants, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., USA. 3: Clinical assistant professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Md., USA.

Publication date: January 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Acquired after the merger between the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2002, the Journal of Dentistry for Children (JDC) is an internationally renowned journal whose publishing dates back to 1934. Published three times a year, JDC promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. It covers a wide range of topics related to the clinical care of children, from clinical techniques of daily importance to the practitioner, to studies on child behavior and growth and development. JDC also provides information on the physical, psychological and emotional conditions of children as they relate to and affect their dental health.
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