The aim of this study was to analyze the implementation of dental care in the Family Health Program (FHP) in the State of Paraná, Brazil, one year after Ministry of Health (MoH) Ruling 1,444 went into effect. A qualitative and quantitative study was designed, focusing on the 136 municipalities which had included oral health services in the program by early 2002. The dental care teams received previously tested questionnaires on administrative and operational issues. The mean population covered by each team is close to the minimum stipulated by the MoH in 2000. However, some teams experienced difficulties in developing all the activities under their responsibility. Referral of more complex cases was also reported as a critical point. Favorable reception by the population and participation by dentists in the training courses were identified as positive points. Finally, a large proportion of dentists were under temporary work contracts (37.7%); there were also reports of the need to train general dental practitioners with an adequate profile for the FHP.
Oral Health; Dental Health Services; Family Health Program; Health Policy