Stronger futures in the Northern Territory: oral health services July 2012-December 2013

2 Dec 2014

Presents data on the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Oral Health Program. From July 2012 to December 2013 approximately 3,700 Indigenous children received full-mouth fluoride varnish applications; 2,100 received fissure sealants; and 4,700 were provided with clinical services.

This report presents information on the oral health services provided through the National Partnership Agreement on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory (SFNT) Health Implementation Plan (IP) Oral Health Program (OHP). Funded by the Australian Government and implemented by the Northern Territory Government, the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Oral Health Program (SFNT OHP) aims to reduce the prevalence, incidence, severity and impact of oral health problems in the Northern Territory by developing an integrated oral health program for Indigenous children under 16 across the continuum of care. SFNT funds are designed to enhance existing public dental services, to provide a coordinated oral health program and to allow greater access to dental services for all Indigenous children throughout the Northern Territory (Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations 2013).

In particular, the program is working with primary health services to deliver preventive oral health programs including:

  • fissure sealants and full-mouth fluoride varnish (FV) applications
  • ‘joined up’ service delivery that ensures children receive appropriate services across the continuum of care, and
  • appropriate dental clinical services, including, in the first 3 years of the program, services under general anaesthetic.

The oral health services examined in this report include a program of clinical services (including tooth extraction under general anaesthetic), as well as preventive services involving the application of fissure sealants and full-mouth FV. Information is provided on the services delivered as well as on the oral health of the Indigenous children who received these services. This report provides a level of accountability for health service delivery in an area of critical need for Indigenous children in the Northern Territory, and helps build the evidence needed for program monitoring and evaluation.

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