Oral Health Risk Assessment

Young brothers huggingPrimary care physicians can play an important role in children’s oral health, particularly since they typically see young children early and often. With proper training in how to conduct an oral health risk assessment, pediatricians and other health care professionals can minimize serious dental problems and their repercussions in children such as: cavities, emergency room visits, and a diminished ability to learn. 

Objective

The Oral Health Risk Assessment project was conducted in six Family Medicine practices throughout the State during 2009-2010. Participating family physicians received information, training and consultation to improve their knowledge about pediatric oral health, improve office systems related to billing and reimbursement, and increase confidence in conducting oral health risk assessments and disease prevention strategies for children between six months and three years of age.

A child's primary care physician is a key resource to families when racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic or educational disparities create barriers to the child receiving regular dental care.