A retrospective study conducted by Ashley M. Kranz, Ph.D, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her colleagues linked 29,173 kindergarten students through Medicaid claims and public health surveillance data to reveal some interesting findings with regard to POHS and dental caries.
This research found that compared to students who did not receive POHS, children with four or more visits had fewer instances of decay, missing teeth or fillings in primary teeth. Kindergarteners who had no visits did not fare as well and experienced more problems.
Although the students who had POHS, were receiving some dental care in the primary healthcare setting, there was no improvement in the number of children who went to the dentist.
Clearly, the primary care physician plays a critical role in helping to reduce the prevalence of dental disease in children, and efforts to promote oral health in the primary care setting definitely needs to continue.