Investigation on Time Spent on Caries Prevention in Västerbotten Public Dental Service Clinics : A secondary analysis of data from a longitudinal caries study

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Internationell mödra- och barnhälsovård (IMCH)

Abstract: Introduction: Despite being preventable, dental caries is the most widespread noncommunicable disease (NCD) globally. Being de most prevalent condition, and the attempts of dentists and dental auxiliaries to give oral health the right attention, transparent, reliable, and up-to-date data about the type and level of oral health care costs are of significant societal relevance to present feedback about health system–level efficiency. Methods: Using records from a prospective cohort of 452 12-year-old children from 14 Västerbotten Public Dental Service Clinics an investigation on time spent on caries prevention was done. Time spend on caries prevention per patient per year was used as a proxy for caries prevention costs to understand variation in values in these cohort. Result: Time spend on caries prevention was associated with individual caries experience, clinics caries prevalence and number of dentists and dental auxiliaries in a 1:2 ratio. Besides,the patient’s caries risk assessment could not explain oral health professionals time spent oncaries prevention. Discussion: Time spent on caries prevention was not evenly distributed (median= 6.8 minutes). As a consequence of improved dental health and scarce resources it has been essential to optimize the efficiency in the dental service. Thus, the amount of individualized preventive intervention offered and given by dentists, hygienists and nurses, to the patients in the various risk groups needs to be further clarified.

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