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ADA releases progress report for Action for Dental Health Year Two

April 28, 2015

By Michelle Manchir

Action for Dental Health
The ADA in April released “Action for Dental Health Year Two: A Progress Report,” outlining goals and progress of the Association’s nationwide, community-based movement to improve the oral health of America’s underserved populations.

The report, which is available online, highlights the progress ADA member dentists have made during the movement’s second year.

Action for Dental Health continues to grow as ADA member dentists work toward the effort’s three distinct goals of providing care now to people already suffering from untreated dental disease, strengthening and expanding the public/private safety net and bringing dental health education and disease prevention into communities.

The report highlights, among other efforts, the work of the Maryland State Dental Association Foundation, which has developed a pilot program to train 15 teams of dentists, hygienists and dental assistants to provide care to nursing residents through a grant from Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Oral Health. And in Morrisville, Vermont, The Manor, a private, nonprofit long-term care facility partnered with the Vermont Department of Health Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley to provide comprehensive dental treatment for the nursing home residents through a pilot project launched in June.

“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 Maxine Feinberg.

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 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.
To learn more about Action for Dental Health or to read the new report, visit ada.org and search for “Action for Dental Health.”