Oral health indicators from the Project Saving Smiles Outreach events

Claudia V Amezquita-Lee, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The purpose: The goal of this study is to determine the oral health status and access to dental care of children and adolescents residing in Houston using the Project Saving Smiles (PSS) Outreach program data. ^ Research design: This culminating experience report has a cross-sectional design and used secondary data collected by the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) through the Project Saving Smiles (PSS) Outreach events. These events ranged from Back-to-School Health fairs, to school or community events, between June of 2014 and February of 2015 in Houston, Texas. ^ Analysis and Results: After obtaining the IRB approval from UTH SPH and City of Houston, the investigator received the de-identified data from HDHHS. Prevalence ratios and 95% CI were calculated for each oral health indicators (dental caries, caries experience, need for dental treatment, dental sealants, and dental visit in the past year) by each independent variable (gender, age, ethnicity, residency ZIP code, dental insurance status, Federal Poverty Level (FPL) status, and event location ZIP code). The results showed that untreated caries affects more than one third of the PSS Outreach population. Moreover, the results showed that there is a positive relationship between the presence of sealants and lack of dental caries across age, FPL, and dental insurance status. ^ Risks and potential benefits: There was no risk involved for the study participants, since this report uses secondary data and the principal investigator only had access to de-identified data. The potential benefits for the study population was a better understanding of their oral health status and access to care, which could lead to the development programs aimed to decrease the burden of dental decay in this population. ^ Importance of knowledge expected to result: A comprehensive oral health status report for the children and adolescents from Houston, who had participated in the PSS Outreach events. ^ Conclusions: The author provided recommendations as a result of the findings in this report.^

Subject Area

Dentistry|Public health

Recommended Citation

Amezquita-Lee, Claudia V, "Oral health indicators from the Project Saving Smiles Outreach events" (2015). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1598352.