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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

ANTUNES, José Leopoldo Ferreira  and  NARVAI, Paulo Capel. Dental health policies in Brazil and their impact on health inequalities. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2010, vol.44, n.2, pp.360-365.  Epub Feb 26, 2010. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102010005000002.

This text systematizes available knowledge about the main dental health policies in Brazil in regards to their current degree of implementation and their impact on health inequalities. Although the fluoridation of publicly distributed water is legally mandated in Brazil, its implementation has been subject to marked regional inequalities. Data are presented about the extent of implementation for the intervention, and studies are reviewed that evaluate the intervention's impact upon increasing inequality in the experience of dental caries. The provision of public dental services, which expanded considerably after the implementation of the National Unified Health Care System, is also discussed in relation to service provision and its impact on reducing inequality in access to dental treatment. The discussion of the differential effect of these interventions allowed for the proposal of targeted strategies (directing fluoridation to areas of greater need), aiming to reduce inequalities in the experience of dental caries in Brazil.

Keywords : Oral Health; Public Health Dentistry; Fluoridation; Health Inequalities; Health Policy.

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