Access Case Study

During a preschool dental screening in December 2016, I identified an emergency case. A little girl had severe dental decay and told me her teeth hurt. With the help of the teachers, I called the child’s parents from the school.

“Mom” said she took her child to see a pediatric dentist and was told there was a 1 year waiting list for an appointment for her daughter to receive general anesthesia to complete the dental treatment she needed. After informing the child’s mother of the severity of the decay and the risk of the infection spreading to her jaw and head, the mother immediately called her dental clinic to see if she could get an appointment as soon as possible. She was able to schedule an appointment the following week for a dental exam, and an appointment for general anesthesia and complete treatment for her daughter in 3 weeks. If we had not provided the dental screening and called her, the mother would have waited for her dental clinic to contact her with an available appointment, and the child’s condition would have worsened.

The next year when we back to screen at that preschool, the little girl came up smiling at me with her healthy silver-capped teeth. – Margaret Fisher, RDHAP, SF DPH

Fluoride varnish (FV)

Preschool screening is important to protect primary teeth!

  • FV is applied to primary teeth in young children to help prevent caries from forming.
  • FV can be applied in different settings, such as school or primary care office
  • FV can be applied safely throughout the year