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On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


ALMEIDA, Gilmara Celli Maia de  and  FERREIRA, Maria Ângela Fernandes. Oral health in the context of the Family Health Program: preventive practices targeting individual and public health. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.9, pp.2131-2140. ISSN 1678-4464.

Professional practices reflect the structuring of health services and are related to the underlying principles of the prevailing health care model. This study focused on preventive and educational practices by dentists in the Family Health Program in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil. A structured interview was held with 80 dentists, in addition to analysis of documents from the Outpatient Database of the Unified National Health System (SIA-SUS) and the Primary Care Database. Individual activities involving orientation for oral hygiene and topical application of fluoride were reported by 87.5% and 95% of dentists, respectively. At the collective level, all the dentists that worked in schools (91.2%) performed topical fluoride application, while 86.2% conducted educational activities. According to SIA-SUS records, preventive activities accounted for 41% of all procedures. Among these, topical application of fluoride gel per sitting and supervised brushing accounted for 24.4% and 31%, respectively. As for educational activities, 57.4% were held in the health care unit and 42.6% in the community. The findings indicate that the preventive practices focus on dental caries, particularly in schoolchildren, and that they need to be expanded to include other oral health problems.

Keywords : Preventive Dentistry; Information Systems; Family Health Program; Oral Health.

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