Dental Screening Information
All children newly enrolling in an Iowa elementary or high school are required to have a dental screening. This requirement was passed by the 2007 legislature and became effective July 1, 2008. The purpose of the dental screening requirement is to improve the oral health of Iowa's children. Dental screenings help with early detection and treatment of dental disease; promote the importance of oral health for school readiness and learning; and contribute to statewide surveillance of oral health.
Dental screenings are provided by an integrated network of health care professionals to supplement Iowa's dental workforce. Regional I-Smile™ coordinators, serving at the "hub" of this network, partner with schools to assist students who need a screening or require follow-up dental care.
The following are highlights of the school dental screening requirement:
- The requirement applies to kindergarten and ninth grade students only.
- A screening for kindergarten may be performed by a licensed dentist, dental hygienist, nurse, advanced registered nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.
- A screening for ninth grade may be performed by a licensed dentist or dental hygienist only.
- Screenings performed by out-of-state providers are allowed.
- The Iowa Department of Public Health Certificate of Dental Screening is the only acceptable form.
- A screening for kindergarten is valid from age 3 years to four months after enrollment date.
- A screening for 9th grade is valid from one year prior to enrollment to four months after enrollment date.