An oral health survey of Head Start children in Alaska: oral health status, treatment needs, and cost of treatment.
Authors: Jones DB, Schlife CM, Phipps KR
Publication Year: 1992
Last Updated: 2016-01-07 16:28:34
Journal: Journal of Public Health Dentistry
Keywords: oral health; urban; American Indian children;Native American, Alaska Native
The purpose of this study was to obtain information on the oral health status, treatment needs, and cost of treatment for Head Start children in Alaska.
The purpose of this study was to obtain information on the oral health status, treatment needs, and cost of treatment for Head Start children in Alaska. Twenty communities, representing five regions within the state, were selected for participation. The study consisted of three distinct parts: a caries status exam, a sociodemographic questionnaire, and a treatment needs examination. A total of 544 children between three and five years old were examined. The mean dmft and dmfs scores were 3.91 and 8.73, respectively. When stratified by race, the Alaska Native children had significantly higher mean dmft and dmfs scores. When stratified by community of residence, those children residing in the rural communities had higher rates of dental caries than the urban children. Forty-five percent of the total sample was in need of dental restorative treatment, excluding examinations, radiographs, and preventive services. The proportion of rural children needing care was much higher than the urban children (59% vs 27%). On average, each urban child needed treatment on 0.7 teeth, while each rural child needed treatment on 2.8 teeth. When all treatment factors including sedation and transportation costs are considered, the potential cost of treatment for the 1,475 children enrolled in the Alaska Head Start programs was $601,624.
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