Acceptance of preventive dental services for children at a retail-based clinic: A pilot study

Therese L. Canares, Sunaina Vohra, Jessica Kang, Jonathan Tai, Mingi Park, Jacob Dachman, Glenn Canares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Low-income children with high caries risk are disproportionately affected by poor access to dental care. Retail-based clinics (RBCs) can provide accessible ancillary oral health care. The purposes of this study were: (1) to measure caregivers’ acceptance rate of an oral health screening, fluoride varnish (FV) application, and caries risk assessment offered to children on a walk-in basis in an RBC; and (2) to categorize the caries risk and demographics among the participants. Methods: Screenings and FV applications were provided to children younger than 18 years at a Walgreens Health Care Clinic in Baltimore, Md., USA, from October 2016 to October 2017. The acceptance rate and caries risk using the American Dental Association caries risk assessment form were documented. Descriptive statistics and Fisher’s exact test were used to analyze the data. Results: Eighty-five children and their caretakers were approached and 32 (38 percent) agreed to participate. Most children had high caries risk (84.3 percent) and a dental home (81.2 percent), but only 50 percent reported visiting their dentist in the last year. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate modest acceptance of FV application for children on a convenience basis. This population had predominantly high caries risk, with poor adherence to follow-up with their dental home. Retail-based dental care should not replace the dental home but could support it by increasing access to preventive dental care in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-46
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dentistry for Children
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • Care
  • Dental
  • Fluoride varnishes
  • Health services accessibility
  • Preventive dentistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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