MCHbest. NPM 13.2: Preventive Dental Visit: Childhood
Strategy. Preventive Oral Care Outreach with Early Head Start, Head Start, Home Visiting, and WIC Clinics
Approach. Collaborate with Early Head Start and Head Start programs, home visiting programs, and/or WIC clinics to train staff to provide preventive oral health care and referrals to oral health professionals for dental visits.
Overview. Providing home visits with a dental care coordinator who educates and assists with finding and scheduling an appointment with recruited dental practice to provide care for children has been shown to improve utilization of dental services.1 In addition, outreach through similar services such as Early Head Start, Head Start, Home Visiting, and WIC clinics appears to have comparable benefits.
Evidence. Emerging Evidence. There is recent evidence of the effectiveness for home visiting with dental practice outreach. More research is needed for conclusive results; however, the peer-reviewed literature on home visiting related to similar topic areas is promising and strongly indicates that this approach would prove effective for this topic area and population group. Access the peer-reviewed evidence about home visits and dental practice through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).
Target Audience. Caregiver and Provider.
Outcome. Percent of infants and children ages 1 to 17 with a past-year preventive dental visit. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the "Intervention Results" for each study.
Examples from the Field. There are currently 7 ESMs across all states/jurisdictions that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. Access descriptions of these ESMs through the MCH Digital Library. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM.
Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Utilize home visiting programs to screen for caries and refer to early oral preventive services with recruited dental practices for children over age 6 months,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework (for suggestions on how to develop programs to support this strategy, see The Role of Title V in Adapting Strategies):
Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).
1 Binkley C, Garrett B, Johnson K. Increasing dental care utilization by Medicaid-eligible children: a dental care coordinator intervention. J Public Health Dent. 2010;70(1):76-84.