Fluoride Action Network

Dental screening to start in elementary schools next month

Source: Tehran Times | September 25th, 2019
Location: Iran

TEHRAN – A scheme screening oral and dental health of students in elementary schools will be implemented by the upcoming month (starting on November 23) nationwide, head of oral health organization affiliated to the Health Ministry has stated.

Under the scheme, 7 million students will undergo dental screening, ISNA quoted Hamid Samadzadeh as saying on Tuesday.

The oral health screening of elementary students is carried out in collaboration with the Education Ministry in 62,000 urban and rural schools, he said, highlighting, training courses on tooth caring, prevention, screening and fluoride therapy will also be provided to the students.

Health care providers will actively identify the students suffering from tooth decay and refer them to higher levels of treatment, he added.

Referring to a scheme providing free dental health services to students on sixth grade implemented last school year, he said that some 1.2 million students have undergone dental diagnosis; 60 percent of them have so far received free treatment services.

He went on to add that this year the scheme will also be implemented for the sixth-grade students.

After identifying cavities or problems, the student is referred to dentists for further services, and all documents are provided to families if they wish to see their trusted dentist, he noted.

Dental filling, extraction and scaling are the three services provided free of charge to the students residing in areas with a population of less than 20,000, he stated, adding, while Fluoride therapy is done completely free of charge in all areas.

“It is noteworthy to say that 70 percent of the treatment services are free.”

Fluoride therapy prevents tooth decay in children older than 6 months while reducing tooth decay by 20 percent in children, which was offered to 700,000 students last year, he explained.

Last year, 9.5 million students were provided with services, of them 4 million students were diagnosed with cavities and referred to receive higher level of services, and 1.6 million students were provided with dental filling, he added.

The scheme will be started in early-October and will continue to the end of the current school year (June 21), he also noted.

Referring to Decayed, Missing, and Filled Teeth (DMFT) indicator demonstrating the situation of oral and dental health among people of a society, he stated that the DMFT index among first-grade elementary students reduced from 2.09 to 1.8.

“We expected to reduce the index to 1 by the next two years, while it is far reaching and the index will be 1.4 within the next two years,” he concluded.

*Original article online at https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/440493/Dental-screening-to-start-in-elementary-schools-next-month