Background: School based dental screening has been a popular public health intervention. However, literature provides contrasting evidence regarding effectiveness of such programs on the utilization of dental services.
Objectives: We designed this review to understand the differences in dental attendance rates of children below 15 years of age, receiving a school based dental screening versus those not receiving it.
Material and Methods: The standard methodological procedures prescribed by The Cochrane Collaboration for Systematic review and meta-analysis was employed. An electronic (MEDLINE via PUBMED, Cochrane trial registry, and Google scholar) and a manual search (2016) were made to identify studies.
Results: Five studies met the inclusion criteria, covering a population of 28208 school children of which 21447 were included in the meta-analysis. The review concludes that school based dental screening marginally increases the dental attendance by 16 percent as opposed to a non-screening group (RR 1.16 (95% CI 1.11, 1.21). The quality of evidence was found to be low.
Conclusions: There is evidence of marginally increased dental attendance rate of 16 % following screening. As the quality of evidence was found to be low, the results of this review may be used with caution.
V. Sanjeevan, Chandrashekar Janakiram, and Joseph, J., “Effectiveness of School-based Dental Screening in Increasing Dental Care Utilization: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”, Indian J Dent Res, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 117-124, 2019.