Understanding and Addressing Inequalities in child (under 5) oral health in Bristol: Who attends, for what procedures, and is best evidence being put into practice?
While we anticipate that poor dental health is not evenly distributed, we do not currently know what the local patterns or disease or health service use are. We cannot, therefore, target preventive interventions to the communities most at need.
We therefore propose to establish a local evidence base, on which planning decisions could be based in future. We will focus this work on the City of Bristol in the first instance, in order to attempt calculation of prevalence estimates. There will be three strands of evidence:
1) Audit of current use of NHS dental services by children under 5 in Bristol, including children attending for dental extractions under general anaesthetic.
2) Qualitative study of oral health services for under 5s in Bristol. This will include interviews with dentists and oral health promotion specialists to understand current practice and experience, and with parents with young children who are and are not accessing dental services (including those referred for dental GA).
3) A survey of current practice among dentists in Bristol to establish common current practice particularly with regard to preventive interventions for under 5s (eg use of fluoride varnish).