The sample Dental Health Certificate form is simply a tool to present the findings about a child’s oral health and communicate it to the school. To complete the form consistently with others, please follow these guidelines:
It should be noted that this form is not intended to communicate all your findings to the parent. That should be handled in the same manner as other dental visits, either through consultation with the adult present at the time of the evaluation, or through a form designed specifically for this purpose.
If this is the first time this child is seeing a dentist, it could also be the last! Don’t let that happen! You and your office staff have a unique opportunity to educate the parent on the importance of oral health and begin the process of establishing a dental home for this child. As a dental professional, it is important to inform parents of the value of tooth care at home and regular dental visits.
The law requires that a notice of request for dental health certificates be distributed at the same time that parents or guardians of students are notified of health examination requirements. The notice must also state that a list of dental practices, dentists and registered dental hygienists is available upon request at the student's school to which students who need a comprehensive dental assessment may be referred for treatment on a free or reduced cost basis. Dental health certificates, if obtained, should be made part of the school health record.
The law does not require that a student be withheld from attending classes. Students will not be denied entrance to school as a result of the findings on the dental health certificate. It is hoped that this will encourage parents to make arrangements for treatment. You may also want to explore opportunities for providing care in consultation with local dental organizations. More information regarding ways to help families will be made available in the near future on the Department of Health webpage.
We strongly encourage you to take the opportunity to volunteer to conduct screening sessions in a school.
The purpose of a dental assessment is to determine a child’s dental health condition. Therefore, it is defined for this purpose as an assessment performed by a dentist or a registered dental hygienist under the general supervision of a dentist (charting caries and periodontal conditions as an aid to diagnosis by the dentist) for the purpose of determining whether any painful conditions, obvious swelling related to clinical evidence of open cavities, or any other condition that interferes with a student’s ability to chew, speak or focus on school activities. Radiographs are not expected to be part of this assessment.
If the child is already a patient-of-record and has had an assessment within the last 12 months prior to the beginning of the school year in which the assessment and certificate is requested, the results of that assessment can be used to fill out the dental health certificate form. There is no need to conduct a separate assessment to fill out the dental health certificate form. Your office may want to develop a protocol for parents asking if you will complete the form based on the child’s record from their last assessment.
As with all new and recall patients, ideally, children should receive a comprehensive assessment in your office. It is therefore important for your office staff to develop a protocol for when the parents request the need to make an appointment for a school "Dental Health Certificate" assessment. Many factors figure into a parent's decision to schedule the recommended assessment appointment, including available insurance coverage and the expectation that an assessment is all the child needs. You should clearly explain the fees charged for other investigations like x-rays and treatment, if needed.