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Spec Care Dentist. 2016 Sep;36(5):243-53. doi: 10.1111/scd.12174. Epub 2016 Mar 29.

Oral health services within community-based organizations for young children with special health care needs.

Author information

1
Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. stefcruz@uw.edu.
2
Associate Professor, Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
3
Professor, Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To identify the types of oral health services offered by community-based organizations to young children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and the barriers and facilitators to the provision of these in a nonfluoridated community.

METHODS:

Thirteen key informant interviews with representatives from early intervention agencies, advocacy groups, and oral health programs who provide services to CSHCN in Spokane county, Washington. We used a content analysis to thematically identify oral health services as proactive or incidental and the barriers and facilitators to their provision.

RESULTS:

We identified four types of oral health services: screenings, parent education, preventive dental care, and dental referrals. Barriers to providing all four services included limited agency resources, restrictive administrative and system-level policies, and low demand from parents. A barrier to providing education and preventive dental care was community disagreement regarding fluoride. A barrier to providing dental referrals was the perceived lack of dentists who could treat CSHCN. Facilitators included community partnerships among the organizations and utilization of the statewide oral health program.

CONCLUSIONS:

Oral health services for young CSHCN are limited and often delivered in response to oral health problems. Coordinated efforts between community-based organizations, health providers, and advocates are necessary to ensure the provision of comprehensive care, including preventive and restorative services, to all young CSHCN.

KEYWORDS:

dental education; dental utilization; oral health

PMID:
27028954
PMCID:
PMC5010451
DOI:
10.1111/scd.12174
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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