Alliance for a Cavity Free Future

Alliance for a Cavity Free Future
Stop Caries NOW for a Cavity-Free Future
An Oral Health Resource


Patient follow-up in the dental office and program evaluation in the community are necessary in order to achieve informed clinical decision making for patients and for making program modifications in community programs.

Evaluation is the collection and analysis of information by various methods to determine if the preventive services were effective as intended. The evaluation of patient services and community programs is usually structured to answer several important questions.

Hence, evaluations of clinical services or community programs are undertaken to provide information for some decision process, such as follow-up clinical decisions for patient care or future program modifications for community programs. The preventive services/programs being evaluated can be found to be effective but inadequate, i.e., additional resources are needed to address the problem. Alternatively, clinical services to the community programs can be found to be inefficient, which could require some adjustment in the clinical or community health care delivery system, such as more preventive services being delivered by allied dental care providers or community aids. The evaluation could also result in greater or lesser effectiveness than expected, stimulating the questions, were the right preventive services provided and how might the type or amounts be adjusted? In the routine individual patient setting, the importance of regular evaluations conducted through scheduled monitoring and review — to assess the effectiveness of personalized preventive care plans — is being recognized increasingly.

Evaluation is key in order to understand the outcomes of preventive services provided at the patient care or community program level. The information derived from routine evaluation efforts will greatly assist dental care providers and program managers to understand the appropriateness, adequacy, efficiency, effectiveness and long-term impact of the preventive services being employed.


  1. Veney, JE and Kaluzny. Evaluation and decision making for health services programs. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632. Xvii+302pp.
  2. Gillings, D B and Douglass C W. Quantitative methods for planning and evaluation. Class lectures, HADM/BIOS 241. Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of N Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
  3. Pitts, NG. Karger Monograph 2009 – Chapter on Monitoring and Reviews