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Am Fam Physician. 2024;109(3):261-262

Related USPSTF Clinical Summary Table: Screening and Preventive Interventions for Oral Health in Adults

This clinical content conforms to AAFP criteria for CME.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial relationships.

Case Study

A 27-year-old man presents with his six-year-old daughter for an annual wellness visit. He reports that his daughter is doing well, but he lost his job in the past year. This resulted in a loss of dental insurance for their family, and neither he nor his daughter has been seen for dental examinations in the past 12 months.

He reports that the family is relying on church and community food banks, and their diet has recently consisted of more fast food and snack foods than usual. He and his daughter report having no symptoms of oral health disease.

Case Study Questions

1. As the primary care physician performing the general wellness examinations, which one of the following routine screening interventions would be most appropriate for this visit, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations?

  • A. Screen for dental caries only in the six-year-old.

  • B. Screen for dental caries only in the 27-year-old.

  • C. Screen for dental caries and periodontal disease in both patients.

  • D. Screen for dental caries and periodontal disease in the 27-year-old; screen only for dental caries in the six-year old.

  • E. Use clinical judgment to decide whether to screen either the parent or child for oral health conditions.

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This series is coordinated by Joanna Drowos, DO, contributing editor.

A collection of Putting Prevention Into Practice published in AFP is available at

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