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SYSTEMATIC REVIEW Table of Contents   
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 117-124
Effectiveness of school-based dental screening in increasing dental care utilization: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Department of Public Health Dentistry, Amrita School of Dentistry, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chandrashekar Janakiram
Professor, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Amrita School of Dentistry, AIMS, Kochi - 682041, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_523_18

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Background: School based dental screening has been a popular public health intervention. However, literature provides contrasting evidence regarding effectiveness of such programs on the utilization of dental services. Objectives: We designed this review to understand the differences in dental attendance rates of children below 15 years of age, receiving a school based dental screening versus those not receiving it. Material and Methods: The standard methodological procedures prescribed by The Cochrane Collaboration for Systematic review and meta-analysis was employed. An electronic (MEDLINE via PUBMED, Cochrane trial registry, and Google scholar) and a manual search (2016) were made to identify studies. Results: Five studies met the inclusion criteria, covering a population of 28208 school children of which 21447 were included in the meta-analysis. The review concludes that school based dental screening marginally increases the dental attendance by 16 percent as opposed to a non-screening group (RR 1.16 (95% CI 1.11, 1.21). The quality of evidence was found to be low. Conclusions: There is evidence of marginally increased dental attendance rate of 16 % following screening. As the quality of evidence was found to be low, the results of this review may be used with caution.


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