Chile - A school based oral health programme in Cabildo (2008)


A School Based Oral Health Programme implemented through private initiatives and funded by Japan in 2004 that was introduced in Cabildo, which is a small town in the Region of Valparaiso, Chile, is presented.

The school in Cabildo, where the clinic is situated.

Children at the clinic, receiving information regarding
oral health.

Jacob, Johan and Dra. Aguilera doing some
treatment at the clinic.

Oral Health Community Project Cabildo, Chile.


Caries prevalence in Chile according to the last national oral health survey from 1999 was relatively high (DMFT 3.42 for 12 year old children). There are no common caries prophylaxis programmes or other dental care for children except for a dental check up when they are 3 and 6 year olds.

As part of this Programme, a dental clinic was established at the largest primary school in Cabildo. This clinic is open not only to the children form the schools in Cabildo but also to all the other schools in the municipality.

The dental team in Cabildo consists of two dentists, one dental hygienist and four dental assistants. The dentists examine and treat oral diseases, mainly caries. The dental hygienists show the equipment for the children, perform scaling, sealants and prophylaxis. The Assistants provide information about diet and oral diseases together with oral hygiene instructions both in the clinic and in schools in the nearby areas.

Students having a break at school.

Children receiving information about
the dental equipment.

Fluoride treatment.

Project Outline
The children from the different schools visit the clinic with their teachers and spend the entire day there. The prerequisite for treatment is that the children should have a written consent from their parents and that they do not belong to a private dental care institution.

The programme consists of five sessions.
At the first visit, maximum ten children between the age of 7-15 years participate. The children are given information about healthy diet, oral hygiene and the aetiology of caries and periodontal disease. The dental equipment is also showed to the children and the visit ends with a dental examination and if necessary, future treatment is planned.

The other visits, up to four, consist of mainly of treatment. The children can receive one to five sessions depending on the severity of caries. The last visit ends with sealants and intensive fluoride treatment. The treatment is paid by a governmental insurance system called “Fondo Nacional de Salud” (FONASA) (National Health Insurance Fund) and the amount differs depending on how much you pay every month.

The School Based Oral Health Programme, initiated in 2004 is an ongoing effort in Cabildo that is successfully helping the children to receive dental care and treatment at a nominal fee.

Dr. Aguilera, Johan and Jacob with the dental team in Cabildo.

We would like to thank Dr Carolina Aguilera and the rest of the dental team in Cabildo. Furthermore we would like to express our gratitude to Dr Giglia Sirandoni and Dr Ramon Naranjo for making our visit and stay in Chile possible.

* This project was performed by Johan Lidberg and Jacob Nisser, for the Student Research Project at the Faculty of Odontology, Malmo University, Sweden under the guidance of Dr L. Widerström and Dr J Stjernswärd.