Pediatric dental healthcare in serbia before and during COVID-19 pandemic
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Institute of Public Health of Serbia Dr Subotica 5 Serbia
Institute of Public Health of Serbia
Ministry of Health of Serbia
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1562
Background and aim:
Despite high prevalence of oral diseases, oral health is still neglected public health domain. Regular check-ups and other preventive measures can significantly reduce the burden of oral diseases and children are important population group for implementation of these measures. Covid -19 pandemic had influence on oral health care utilization globally, depending on the organization of health service. The aim of this study is to explore the changes in indicators of oral health care for children.

For this analysis we used data from routine statistics collected regularly from all 158 primary health care centers in Serbia. We compared trends in pediatric dental health care indicators for the period 2001-2020.

The average number of visits to dentist per one preschool child was the lowest in COVID-19 pandemic 2020 (0.7). This number is for 40% lower than in 2019 (1.1) and almost double lower than in period from 2011 to 2013 (1.3). The results are similar for school aged children. One child of this age visited dentist 1.4 time in average in 2020 which is significantly lower than 2.4 visits registered in 2019. Coverage of children with dental check-ups decreased from 85% in 2014 to 59.6% in 2020 for children 7 years old, and from 79.9% in 2014 to 47.3% in 2020 for 12 years old. Conclusion COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in pediatric dental healthcare utilization and impact on the children oral health can be expected. The intervention to minimize this effect should be developed and recommendation should be made for the event of further pandemic situation.

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