This study aimed to evaluate the effects of national dental screening for children in Korea in the aspects of prevention of dental caries, the number of treatments related to dental caries, and cost of dental care.
The study used the national cohort data on children health screening provided by National Health Insurance Service, and analyzed 32,937 1st dental screening, 22,608 2nd dental screening, 13,708 3rd dental screening, and 241,043 cases from the dental care of 27,944 children born in year 2008 and 2009. The decayed-filled teeth index and decayed-filled person rate, calculated from the results of the 2nd and 3rd dental screening, decreased as the number of preceding dental screening increased. Glass ionomer and amalgam restoration, pulp treatment of primary teeth and extraction of primary canine and molar were shown to decrease as the number of examined dental screening increased, and the total cost of dental care covered by national health insurance also decreased as the number of dental screening increased.
In conclusion, national dental screening for children is an efficient and economical oral health care method that prevents dental caries and lowers the possibility of dental caries related treatment, thereby reducing cost of dental care.