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The National Preventive Dentistry Demonstration Program was conducted to assess the costs and effects of various types and combinations of school-based preventive dental care procedures for children. The program's treatment procedures were ones that numerous clinical trials had suggested would be effective in preventing dental decay. In fact, it appeared that if these procedures were used in combination, they would all but eliminate dental decay. The analyses presented in this report disclosed that only a few of the procedures investigated were effective in reducing decay, and the most effective procedures prevented only a moderate amount of decay even when they were used in combination. These results appear to have been partly due to there not having been much decay to prevent. The authors conclude that the preventive dental care procedures investigated probably should be considered for a school-based program only if there is a radical reversal in the current trend toward better oral health in children.

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