Example Of Research Paper On Prevention Of Tooth Decay In Children
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Recommendation for the Use of Intervention in the Profession
The three interventions chosen are very much recommended in the dental profession. Educating children and other medical providers about the three interventions are helpful in preventing tooth decays and caries. The aid of dental health providers’ staff is needed to increase awareness about the ways by which tooth decay can be prevented; however, a lack of dental health providers will pose a problem. Though there was an increase in dental schools and applicants, there was also a projected decline and unequal distribution of dental health providers.1 If there is a lack of dental health providers then there is a chance of not being able to reach other children who need dental hygiene education. Applicants for pediatric dentistry have increased; however, their wish is to serve underserved children on dental health care. 1, 441 In this regard, the trainings for these future pediatrics dentists should also tap on the skills and attitudes for dealing with children. 1,441 A shortage in dental school faculty has a great impact on students enrolled in dentistry, particularly when it comes to teaching young children about taking care of their teeth. 1, 441 It was observed that the lack of faculty for dentistry will not enable optimum learning for the future pediatric dentists; hence, they will tend to look for children who are not experiencing serious tooth decay problems. However, this will not address the persistent problems with other underprivileged children who don’t have access to dental health. 1, 441
The dental curriculum of a dental school contributes to the skills needed for dental students. The school’s curriculum should impart knowledge on how future pediatrics dentists should understand the characteristics of children. 1, 441In addition, the curriculum should encourage positive attitude from the graduates of dentistry in order to enable them to provide proper care to children who need more dental care than others. 1, 442
Also, dental schools should not only provide knowledge and skills but also real life situations from which the dental students can gain experiences on the diversity of the attitudes of children who can’t afford dental services. It is mandated by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education that off-site learning opportunities be provided for the students. 1, 442 This off-site learning also provides additional knowledge as a response to the shortage of the faculty in dental schools. 1,442 Dental schools really aid their graduates in becoming competent, with the attitude of caring for disadvantaged children.
The impact of the presence of other medical staff in preventing tooth decay is also crucial. If the dental doctors and nurses are lacking, then educating children will be the least that can be done to provide them with access to dental hygiene. This would include teaching children about reducing tooth decay or teaching their family about good oral hygiene, and employing fluoridation schemes.2
In schools, nurses play a vital role in promoting ways of preventing tooth decay in children. The following are the expected objectives for nurses: carrying out succinct interventions; encouraging registration with a dentist; and employing oral health in the holistic development of children, with emphasis on healthy eating and daily oral hygiene. 2, 279 Another role of nurses in the school is providing context to teachers and administrators about the promotion of appropriate activities for each age group of children in school. 2, 279
One of the interventions included is the application of fluoride with pit and fissure. Having tooth decay affects the academic performance of children. These effects include absenteeism, poor quality of life, poor grades, and life-threatening diseases. 3 Healthy teeth, especially the molars, help in chewing the food. These molars also serve as the placeholders before the permanent tooth come out. 3, 555 Primary molar sealants are cost-effective for children who are prone to tooth decays. 3, 555 Primary molar sealants prevent tooth decay, and sealing a molar decreases the number of dental diseases in children. 3, 558 Using primary molar sealants provides a great benefit to patients. It will possibly lead to a healthier population and to long-term cost-saving. 3, 559 The prevalence of children who can’t afford to avail of molar sealants is a driving force for the states to provide alternative fees for service for molar sealants. 3, 560 Another alternative solution for the high cost of molar sealant is to lower its cost so that children who are underprivileged will be able to afford it. 3, 560 Dentists can give their patients primary molar sealants, provided that these will be allocated by Medicaid for reimbursement. This recommendation will reduce tooth decay in children and will enable underprivileged children to access the said dental service. This program will also reduce the missed school days, the poor grades, and the poor social relations with other people.
There are also recommendations for tooth brushing as an intervention. Without using fluoride and calcium, dental erosion may occur, particularly of the tooth tissue. This tooth tissue is the unalterable defective hard tissue, and its erosion may be caused by the chemical of acid dissolution, by other physical impact or trauma, or by dental caries. 4, 17 Dental erosion has been a problem for both children and adults, and the appropriate dental interventions are needed. 4, 18
A study found out that using calcium as an additive in food and drinks lessens dental erosions. 4, 20 Blank currant juices with calcium are less erosive to teeth. 4, 21 Moreover, the low erosivity of modified black currant with calcium encourage people to develop such drinks along with juice drinks.4,22 The effects of fluoride and calcium have significantly decreased the dental erosion of primary and permanent teeth. As a dentist, recommending healthy food for promoting the good condition of teeth is very important to the writer’s future dental patients.
Brushing the teeth twice a day may not only help someone reduce caries, decay, or erosion; it will also prevent other diseases. In a Scottish study, it was discovered that brushing one’s teeth twice a day reduces heart diseases more than in people who have poorer oral hygiene. 5 Thus, it is strongly recommended that the teeth be brushed twice a day to prevent dental problems and cardiovascular diseases.
Furthermore, the establishment of the National Institute of Dental Research has helped in spreading lectures and educational information about dental care.6 The research center also provides more information on the causes of dental care that should be prevented. One of their major discoveries is that tooth decay or caries is caused by bacteria that may be transmitted through childbirth from the mother to the child or from a caregiver to the child. These bacteria can be passed on to the child in the first three years of the child’s life. Moreover, it was found that oral infections are associated with systemic diseases or disorders such as such as premature babies, low birth rates, and cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases or disorders. 6, 31These findings helped dentists or health science providers to recommend appropriate interventions for their patients.
The catalysts in the NIH fortified the continuous spread of education about the prevention of dental diseases. In particular, they promote communication among the schools and dental medicine providers, encouraging them to share research findings that will be of a great help to dental medicine. This communication is done through printed materials, web-based journals, and virtual conferences. They also promote cooperation among health science providers, which is important in conducting new researches in their field. Collaborations come with cooperation, particularly in the initiation of researches among health science providers/ Lastly, the NIH promotes advocacy, which refers to doing something for the welfare of everyone. 6, 33 These four factors should be instilled in each healthcare provider.
In sum, dental schools, the aid of other medical professionals such as school nurses, the alternative programs for dental services, and the interventions chosen are recommended as ways for preventing tooth decay in children.
Legal and Ethical Considerations
The legal and ethical considerations for these interventions should be considered. It is said that graduates should be able to perceive that they have a social responsibility in which they apply ethical reasoning and professional responsibility when they deal with their patients. 1,442 The recent ethical and professional standards in dentistry include the social responsibility of the dentist in providing care for neglected patients and providing support these groups. 1, 442This means that dental students while in the dental school should imbibe this advocacy of helping the disadvantaged children. Informing them about the importance of dental hygiene to prevent the worsening of their teeth diseases is one way of fulfilling this legal and ethical consideration.
For the brushing of teeth as an intervention, the legal considerations would include ensuring that the components of the toothpaste are safe to be used. The health provider should be responsible enough to first determine the safety of the toothpaste ingredients and whether the toothpaste is approved by the FDA. The dentist should also determine the Safety issues on the use of toothpaste-- whether primarily for cleaning or bleaching -- and whether this will cause an adverse effect on the tooth structure, pulp tissues, mucosal tissues of the mouth, and ingestion.7
For ethical considerations, the dental care provider should first perform intra-oral examinations of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth and extra-oral examination of the neck and head to assess if there are lumps, sores, or sign of disease. This is a careful examination of providing an intervention to children or patients. The dentist should first ask the patient about what caused the tooth decay in order to be able to trace the root of the problem. Once the dentist is able to make the proper diagnosis then the intervention can commence. The dental care provider should ask from time to time what the patients are feeling while undergoing the intervention, an example of which is the brushing of the teeth. Dental care providers should be sensitive enough about what their patients feel about the intervention. Dentists should also first ask the patient’s guardians or parents for permission, especially when the dentist deals with children who are not quite capable of making up their minds.
For the molar sealants, which are quite intrusive for the patients, the legal and ethical considerations are one of the top priorities when conducting this intervention. Not all patients are comfortable about having dental sealants; thus, it is important for the dentist to ask the opinion of both the patient and the guardian or parent. Usually this is used for kids who are about to have their permanent teeth. The legal consideration for dental sealants is that there might be some composition in a molar sealant that is harmful for the patient. Molar sealants may also hide a deeper decay in the tooth when it is used. In addition, dental sealants are known to have Bisphenol A, which is also found in plastic materials. The dental care provider should inform the patient of this possibility, although a research by the ADA has proven that if only a small amount of Bisphenol A is contained in the sealant then it is harmless to the patient. However, if the sealant proves to be harmful to the patient then it will only worsen the tooth decay; hence, the tooth has to be extracted instead. The dentist should also know that not all patients need this sealant as not all patients have tooth decay.
Dental care providers should keep these legal and ethical considerations in mind in order to avoid bigger problems in the future and to comply with the legal and ethical considerations mandated by the CODA. Advocating to help educate children -- whether or not they can afford to prevent tooth decay -- should be the main goal of dental care providers.
Seale, S, McWhorte, A, Mouradian, W. Dental education’s role in improving children’s oral health and access to care. Academic Pediatrics. 2009; 9: 440-445.
Vooghd, C. Addressing tooth decay in children young people. British Journal of School of Nursing. 2014; 9: 276-281.
Chi, D, Van der Goes, N. Ney, J. Cost-effectiveness of pit and fissure sealants on primary molars on Medicaid-enrolled children. American Journal of Public Health. 2014; 104: 555-560.
Zini, A. Krivoroutsky, Y. Vered, Y. Primary prevention of dental erosion by calcium and fluoride: a systematic review. International Journal of Dental Hygiene. 2013; 17-24.
de Oliveira, C, Wat, R, Hamer, M. Tooth brushing, inflammation and risk of cardiovascular disease: results from Scottish Health Survey. BMJ. 2010; 340- 2451.
Slavkin, H. Evolution of the scientific basis for dentistry and its impact on dental education: past present future. Journal of Dental Education. 2012; 76: 28-34.
American Dental Association. Tooth Whitening/Bleaching: Treatment Considerations for Dentists and Their Patients.
http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/About%20the%20ADA/Files/ada_house_of_delegates_whitening_report.ashx. Published September 2009. Accessed April 22, 2015.
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