I am writing to provide recommendations relating to the effectiveness of the state dental sealant program in preventing tooth decay in school-aged children. Based on the results of the state dental sealant program, I make several recommendations. Notably, I recommend the state health department to give the quality of dental sealant application among the children a priority by embracing RDH3, RDH4, RDH6, RDH10, and DHS1 providers and eliminating the rest. Again, I recommend the state dental sealant program to reduce the number of dental hygienists/assistants and instead increase the number of student dental hygienists/assistants. Besides, I recommend the use of the RDH/Student DH team instead of the RDH/DA Team.
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Mainly, the state dental sealant program should continue because of the benefits associated with the exercise. As Ahovuo-Saloranta et al. (2013) note, dental sealants are effective in preventing and reducing carries in adolescents and children for about 2 years. Considering the results of the program, not every provider should continue applying a dental sealant to children. In particular, the state health department should extend the contracts of RDH3 and RDH6 because of their high-quality application of dental sealant. Notably, the results of the program show the percentage of a retained dental sealant as administered by RDH3 and RDH6 to be 94% and 90% respectively. As a result, the providers RDH3 and RDH6 have managed to record low costs per sealants retained which are $6.06 and $6.32 respectively.
Notably, it is very easy to recommend RDH4 and RDH10 to be eliminated in the state dental sealant program due to their inefficiency and costs. Mainly, this is because the percentages of retained dental sealant as administered by RDH4 and RDH10 are 60% and 34%. Additionally, the costs per sealants retained of RDH4 and RDH10 are $9.51 and $16.49 respectively. Despite such high costs, RDH4 and RDH10 providers should continue being part of the state dental sealant program because they operate a remote county where other providers are probably not willing to offer their services. Largely, removing the two providers will expose the children in a remote county to the higher risk of tooth decay, which dental sealant aims to prevent (Rafatjou, Nobahar, Nikfar, Salehimehr, & Khateri, 2013). Besides, I urge the state health department to provide additional training to RDH4 and RDH10 on the quality application of dental sealant.
According to Stanhope and Lancaster, (2013), the choices made on operation approaches and their respective costs are important because they influence the sustainability of health programs. In this regard, I believe that state dental sealant program should consider replacing RDH/DA Team with RDH/Student DH team because of the underlying costs associated with the former. Notably, RDH/Student Team and RDH/DA Team cost $263 and $375 per day respectively. In particular, these staffing costs imply that in every incremental RDH/Student Team at the expense of RDH/DA Team, the state dental sealant program will save $113 per day. Remarkably, the amount saved from staffing costs can be used to provide dental sealant to more children or extend the period of the program. In the same vein, I urge state health department to provide additional training to RDH/Student Team to improve its efficiency in administering dental sealant.
I look forward to an increased rate of retained dental sealant among the schoolchildren. In this regard, I would like to urge the state health department to train both dental sealant providers and dental hygiene programs on matters relating to the quality provision of health care services. Besides, I would like to advocate for extensive training to dental hygiene students to reduce the cost per salient retailed from two-digit (as depicted in the results) to one digit. In retrospect, I look forward in providing additional information and recommendations on state dental sealant program.
Ahovuo-Saloranta, A., Forss, H., Walsh, T., Hiiri, A., Nordblad, A., Makela, M., & Worthington, H. V. (2013). Sealants for preventing dental decay in the permanent teeth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev., 3, 1-156.
Rafatjou, R., Nobahar, S., Nikfar, M., Salehimehr, G., & Khateri, D. (2013). Retention and effectiveness of dental sealant after 12 months in Iranian children. Avicenna J Dent Res., 5(2), 1-5.
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Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2013). Foundations of nursing in the community: Community-oriented practice. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier, Inc.