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A health-promoting community dental service in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: protocol for the North Richmond model of oral health care.

Aust J Prim Health; 2017 Aug 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28823310

Abstract

Despite the best efforts and commitment of oral health programs, there is no evidence that the current surgical output-based model of oral health care is delivering better oral health outcomes to the community. In fact, Australian evidence indicates the oral health of the community could be getting worse. It is now well-understood that this traditional surgical model of oral health care will never successfully manage the disease itself. It is proposed that a health-promoting, minimally invasive oral disease management model of care may lead to a sustainable benefit to the oral health status of the individual and community groups. The aim of this paper is to describe such a model of oral health care (MoC) currently being implemented by the North Richmond Community Health Oral Health (NRCH-OH) program in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; this model may serve as a template for other services to re-orient their healthcare delivery towards health promotion and prevention. The paper describes the guiding principles and theories for the model and also its operational components, which are: pre-engagement while on the waitlist; client engagement at the reception area; the assessment phase; oral health education (high-risk clients only); disease management; and reviews and recall.