The oral health park: a new experience in delivering preventive services in Iran

Document Type: Original Article(s)

Authors

1 Instructor, Department of Dental Public Health, School of Dentistry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Dental Public Health, School of Dentistry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Effective and acceptable preventive dental services are hard to achieve in conjunction with treatment services. The Oral Health Office of Fars Province in Iran established the Oral Health Park in a deprived part of the city of Shiraz to attract families and school children to receive preventive services. No other treatment was provided in the setting. The aim of this study was to compare the number and the cost-efficiency of preventive dental services provided in such settings with those of other dental care settings in which preventive services are provided in conjunction with treatment services. METHODS: The Oral Health Park and its activities were closely monitored for three years. Data on the number of provided services and their costs were compared with available data on other state settings. RESULTS: From 2008 to 2011, more than 6000 children from about 3200 families used the Oral Health Park’s free services. The number of preventive services provided in the Park was tens of times more than similar clinical settings in which both preventive and treatment services were provided. At the same time, the cost of each process provided in the Park was, in average, a quarter of a similar process in other clinics. CONCLUSIONS: The oral health policy in developing countries such as Iran should move towards establishment of settings in which only preventive dental services are provided for a more effective and cost efficient approach.

Keywords