Evaluation of a capacity building clinical educational model for oral health clinicians treating very young children Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: There are significant levels of dental caries in Australian school-aged children, with children aged five years having a mean dmft of 1.3. It has also been identified that, in general, oral health clinicians lack confidence to treat very young children and this study aimed to increase capacity of public sector oral health clinicians to treat preschool children. BASIC RESEARCH DESIGN: An educational program was developed, implemented and evaluated for its capability to increase the confidence and knowledge of oral health clinicians and dental assistants in providing oral care for children aged 12 months to 5 years. RESULTS: In 2011 and 2012, the course was delivered to 36 clinicians (22 dentists, 12 dental therapists, and two oral health therapists) and showed increases in their confidence and knowledge for participants when providing dental procedures to preschool children. CONCLUSIONS: The educational program that was developed and implemented has met its objective of increasing the knowledge and confidence of practicing oral health clinicians and dental assistants in the management of preschool children. Strategies to further enhance the outcomes of this educational program have been proposed.


  • Martin, J
  • O'Halloran, K
  • Butcher, J
  • Hopcraft, M
  • Arnold-Smith, T
  • Calache, H

publication date

  • 2014

has subject area