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Dent. J. 2014, 2(1), 22-40; doi:10.3390/dj2010022

Improving Oral Health Status of Children in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Department of Preventive Dentistry, Riyadh Colleges of Dentistry and Pharmacy, Riyadh , Saudi Arabia
Received: 17 January 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Dentistry)
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Abstract

This comprehensive community health intervention aimed to improve the oral health and reduce the incidence of dental caries in Tabuk schoolchildren. The program supports the public health pyramid that provides a framework to improve health and included creating and evaluating a school oral health surveillance system, applying fluoride varnish and dental sealants on high- and medium-caries risk children, and providing treatment for existing diseases. In a pilot phase, 48 children (26 males 22 females; mean age 6.42; dmft 9.33, Decayed, Missing, or Filled Primary and Permanent Teeth (DMFT) 3.27) received the dental services, both treatment and prevention. Three hundred seventy-eight composite resin or resin-modified light-cured glass ionomer restorations were placed. One-hundred and eighteen teeth received pulp therapy (pulpotomy or pulpectomy), ten of which received stainless steel crowns. A total of 72 teeth were extracted due to caries. To understand the effects of dental disease on children, as perceived by parents, an oral health-related quality of life survey was completed and analyzed. Results found an underestimation of the role the teeth play, particularly primary teeth, in the general health and wellbeing of the child. The program’s main evaluation effort focused on the process and outcome objectives, including the number of children received care, number of teeth received restorations and sealants, and number of children received fluoride varnish, etc. Analyzing the effect of the program on oral hygiene revealed an improvement in oral health, as a direct result of oral health educational sessions and one-to-one counseling. There is an urgent need to expand the program to include all primary schools.
Keywords: caries; children; prevention; Saudi caries; children; prevention; Saudi
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Baghdadi, Z.D. Improving Oral Health Status of Children in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. Dent. J. 2014, 2, 22-40.

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