Irish Oral Health Services Guideline Initiative
The Oral Health Services Guideline Initiative has been established to develop evidence-based guidelines for the Public Dental Service in Ireland. The initiative is funded by a strategic health research award from the Health Research Board, and is a collaboration between the Oral Health Services Research Centre, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the UK Cochrane Centre in Oxford.
The Guideline Initiative builds on earlier research commissioned by the Department of Health and Children, which indicated that the approaches taken by the Public Dental Service to providing dental screening and preventive services to children may not be in line with best practice.
The Oral Health Services Guideline Initiative aims to provide evidence-based guidance for all those involved in planning and providing public dental services for children and adolescents in Ireland, in order to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of dental services to children. The focus of the guidelines is on caries prevention in children and adolescents and the promotion of good oral health. The topics selected for guideline development are as follows.
Oral Health Assessment
This guideline covers best practice for providing an oral health assessment programme for school-aged children in Ireland, and incorporates recommendations for caries prevention, recall intervals and programme governance.
Pit and Fissure Sealants
This guideline covers the use of pit and fissure sealants for the prevention and management of caries in the pits and fissures of primary and permanent teeth, and includes methods for detecting occlusal caries, indications for sealant use, application technique, follow-up and review and cost effectiveness.
Prevention of Dental Caries in Children and Adolescents
This guideline covers approaches to identifying high caries risk children and adolescents at both the individual and the population level, and recommends effective caries preventive strategies at the individual and the population level for high caries risk children under the age of 16.
This guideline covers the use of the following topical fluorides for caries prevention: Fluoride varnish, gel, foam, slow-release fluoride devices and fluoride toothpaste and fluoride mouthrinse as part of community-based caries-preventive programmes.