Implementation of School-based Oral Health Services
The types of preventive services provided can vary. All of the following services are examples offered by a school-based oral health program:
Oral Health Education
Oral Health Education/Instruction teaches children, their families, and school staff crucial oral health information and skills to prevent cavities (virtually or in-person) and can be provided by administrators, school based health center staff, or other school staff.
Oral Health Screening
Screenings are a vital opportunity for a medical, dental, or other health care professional to look in the mouth to evaluate oral health needs and identify concerns, and provide referral.
Oral Health Services- Fluoride Varnish
- Fluoride Varnish is a sticky substance that is painted on the teeth of children in all grades by a medical or dental professional. It is a safe and effective way to prevent cavities or slow the growth of cavities.
Oral Health Services- Sealants
Sealants are applied by dental professionals and are thin coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth that can prevent cavities for many years by blocking out germs and food.
Oral Health Services- Silver Diamine Fluoride
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is an FDA-approved liquid that can be applied to arrest active dental caries and prevent further progression of the disease.
Oral Health Services- Interim Therapeutic Restoration
An Interim Therapeutic Restoration (ITR) is a temporary restoration that can be placed on a qualifying tooth by a Dentist and/or a RDH with proper credentialing to stop the progression of cavities until the patient is able to establish a dental home.
Referral and Follow-up
A referral process for dental treatment is needed when screenings take place. For sites that do not offer a full scope of oral health services, it can be important to establish an MOU and strong referral relationships with community dental clinicians. When establishing a relationship with a dental clinic be sure to consider what age of patient the clinic sees.