240376 A trans-disciplinary approach to implement a fluoride varnish protocol in a community health setting

Monday, October 31, 2011

Adeel Khan, DMD, MA , School of Dental Medicine, Boston University, Boston, MA
Courtney Porter, MPH , School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA
Cammellia Shahram, BS , School of Dental Medicine, Boston University, Boston, MA
Do Quyen Pham, MPH , School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA
Praveen Sridhar, BA , School of Medicine, Boston University, Boston, MA
Corinna Culler, RDH, DrPH , Health Policy and Health Services Research, Boston University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA
In Massachusetts, 25% of children experience dental caries by the time they start kindergarten. Children under the age of 3 are more likely to visit their pediatrician than a dentist; therefore, a pediatric visit is a logical place for decay prevention to begin. As part of a transdisciplinary course at Boston University, a team of dental, medical, and public health students joined the Pediatric Clinic at Boston's South End Community Health Center to address this issue. Using the Challenge Model, as established by Management Sciences for Health, students and staff defined a challenge, obstacles, and a measurable result for the project: to deliver a piloted, standardized protocol for applying fluoride varnish to children under the age of 5 years in the pediatric clinic. Providers were trained to apply fluoride varnish through a web-based training followed by a student led post-training question/answer session and supervised pilot week. A total of 43 children received fluoride varnish, of which 76% of targeted children received fluoride varnish. After analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the pilot week, a protocol for applying fluoride varnish was created. Throughout the week, providers became increasingly comfortable applying fluoride varnish despite obstacles such as short appointment times, competing provider responsibilities and missed appointments. The success of the pilot week and the integration of oral health prevention efforts into routine care in the pediatric clinic demonstrated the effectiveness of the student led community health initiative.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the presentation, all participants should be able to do the following: 1. Understand the health implications of early childhood caries (ECC) on children's overall health 2. Develop a community based prevention program for ECC by establishing a collaboration between pediatrics and dentistry.

Keywords: Oral Health, Community Preventive Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am in the final year of dental school and was directly involved in the development and implementation of a community health initiative involving oral health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.