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Action for Dental Health Year Two: A Progress Report

April 28, 2015

Contact Information:

Rhys Saunders


CHICAGO — The American Dental Association (ADA) this week released Action for Dental Health Year Two: A Progress Report, which outlines the initiatives, goals and progress to date of the association’s nationwide, community-based movement to improve the nation’s oral health, especially for people who lack adequate access to regular dental care.

The report highlights the achievements of dentists and community partners who have developed models of care that fit their communities’ unique needs.

“It is our hope that the momentum we’ve achieved this year will continue to grow in years to come, until all Americans can enjoy the good dental health they deserve,” said ADA President Dr. Maxine Feinberg.

Action for Dental Health has taken root in every state in the nation, and continues to grow as ADA member dentists work to provide care now to people already suffering from untreated dental disease, strengthen and expand the public/private safety net, and bring dental health education and disease prevention into communities. Action for Dental Health comprises eight initiatives, each with individual goals aimed at improving America’s dental delivery system.

The initiatives include:

• Getting people the right care in the right setting with referral programs from hospital emergency rooms to dentists.
• Providing long-term care to nursing home residents who are disproportionately affected by lack of dental care.
• Expanding programs such as Give Kids A Smile and Missions of Mercy that provide screening and treatment, and help people in need connect with dentists.
• Creating community-based contracting between local dentists and Federally Qualified Health Centers and other public and private clinics that provide care to the underserved.
• Increasing dentists’ participation in Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through reductions in administrative burdens and state-developed solutions that increase funding for dental services.
• Expanding community water fluoridation to help prevent tooth decay.
• Utilizing Community Dental Health Coordinators to help underserved people connect with community resources and dentists who can provide care.

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 159,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org