By Hewitt, Maria Elizabeth
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Personal interviews are conducted with patients to determine their perceptions of their care and the quality of their communications with clinic providers. Dentists and dental hygienists practicing in the clinics are surveyed regarding their use of communication skills. Horowitz said that the response of the federally-qualified health centers is very positive and that most directors are motivated to improve their dental services. Data collected from the environmental scan will inform plans to design, implement, evaluate, and revise, when necessary, interventions for specific groups.
Poor oral and dental care takes a considerable economic toll. In Philadelphia, $11 million was spent to treat dental caries in young children under general anesthesia or IV sedation, Ismail said. One in five of these children will return for in-hospital dental care within the year. The impact of treatment for early childhood caries under general anesthesia is significant. , 2011). In addition, children were reported to have emotional and social functioning problems related to their dental disease.
An example is a comic book adapted from a program video. The prekindergarten materials were developed in partnership with Head Start. The materials promote self-esteem and self-efficacy. With the program, Head Start teachers and health coordinators become advocates for good oral health. Parent involvement is an important critical part of the program. A program to prevent early childhood caries that targets pregnant women and caregivers with babies and toddlers, developed in collaboration with Early Head Start program, has been well-received by health coordinators, said Butler.