The Head Start dental component: evaluation of an urban program.
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The Head Start dental component: evaluation of an urban program.

  • Published Date:

    1986 Jul-Aug

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 101(4):433-436
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-618.48 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    To evaluate the dental portion of a Head Start Program, the investigators determined the degree of compliance in providing children aged 3-5 years with annual examinations, topical fluoride, followup care, and a dental curriculum for their classroom. The study included an audit of the children's health records, a clinical assessment of care needs, oral cleanliness, and restoration quality, and an evaluation in the last month of the school year. The evaluation procedures were standardized, and dual examiners were used for all assessments. Differences of opinion between examiners were settled immediately, and the consensus was noted in the evaluation record for the study. A review was conducted of the health records for the 564 children enrolled in eight Head Start centers in Dallas, TX. According to those records, 74 percent of the children had been examined. Nearly 24 percent had required dental care because of caries--the range among centers was 11 to 43 percent. Of the group requiring care, 85 percent had received all the care needed. With the use of World Health Organization criteria, a mean score of 2.47 for oral cleanliness was determined for a random sample of 178 children. This sample also exhibited 1.45 decayed and 1.18 filled deciduous teeth per child. Restoration quality was rated; 94 percent were judged to be acceptable by Ryge's criteria. At all the centers, the dental health curriculum met the program standards set for Head Start by the Public Health Service, Region VI. This investigation showed that the centers did not uniformly comply with the clinical care standards devised for Head Start by the Public Health Service, but they did provide dental services that otherwise might not be available to children enrolled at the eight centers.
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