September 2023

Volume 40, Issue 3

The Dental Health of Looked After Children in the UK and Dental Care Pathways: A Scoping Review

Authors: Katharine J. Hurry Lucy Ridsdale Janet Davies Vanessa E. Muirhead
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00252Hurry08


Background: There has been a 37% increase in the number of Looked After Children (LAC) in England over the past decade. Although LAC have more health and social problems than their peers, little is known about their dental needs, barriers to dental care, and pathways used to access it. Objectives: This scoping review assessed the evidence on the dental health needs of LAC in the UK and their different dental care pathways. Methods: Embase, MedLine(R), Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed and CINAHL, grey literature databases and third-sector organisation websites were searched up to February 2022. Included studies were any study type involving UK resident LAC aged 0-18 with no limits placed on time in care/placement. Thematic analysis identified access barriers and dental care pathways. Results: Twenty-eight articles were included (nine publications, 11 abstracts and 8 grey literature). Oral health surveys, population linkages studies and service evaluations described the poor oral health of LAC and their unmet needs. Barriers included the lack of dental care and irregular attendance; the lack of integrated working between health and social care teams, lack of self-care and oral health promotion, and psychological issues complicating dental treatment. Four dental care pathway models were identified: care navigation, facilitated access, nurse-led triage and referral, and signposting to local dentist with multi-agency information sharing. Conclusion: LAC are a vulnerable group with barriers to care suggesting the need for integrated working between health and social care teams, specialist services and an evaluation of pathways to identify best practice. Keywords: Dental health, scoping review, looked after children, children looked after, foster child, dental care pathways


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
CDH Board September 2023 131-131 Download
Editorial: Clinical Education Research and Dental Public Health 132-133 Download
Socioeconomic inequalities in dental visits among high school students in Chile, years 2013 and 2017 134-138 £10 single article
The impact of restricted access on the need and demand for specialist dental services – A consideration for future needs assessments 139-145 £10 single article
Social determinants of health for moderate and severe periodontal disease in rural and urban populations 146-153 £10 single article
The Dental Health of Looked After Children in the UK and Dental Care Pathways: A Scoping Review 154-161 Download
Oral health profile of Australian children from different immigrant backgrounds 162-169 £10 single article
Sociodemographic disparities in oral health-related quality of life of schoolchildren in rural and urban areas 170-175 £10 single article
Long-term Effectiveness of Integrated Caries Preventive Programs in Thailand Among Preschool Children Using a System Dynamics Model 176-181 Download
Adults’ estimated prevalence of healthy behavior in society and self-reported oral health status and behaviors 182-186 £10 single article
Application of the Life Grid in Oral Health Research: A Scoping Review 187-194 £10 single article


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