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ADA Commends Institute of Medicine on First Oral Health Report

April 19, 2011

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Washington, D.C., April 19, 2011 - The American Dental Association today commended the Institute of Medicine for its balanced report on the nation's oral health, delivered last week to the Health Resources and Services Administration. Advancing Oral Health in America deals mainly with the role of the Department of Health and Human Services in improving the nation's oral health and stresses the need for the agency to partner with multiple stakeholders, including those in the private sector.

"We commend the IOM for many of the conclusions found in this report," said ADA president Raymond Gist. "Most recommendations align with longstanding ADA policy and echo statements that the association has long made to government, other stakeholders and the public."

The report offers 10 "Organizing Principles for a New Oral Health Initiative" which emphasize high-level accountability, disease prevention and oral health promotion, oral health literacy and cultural competence, and other principles in sync with advancing the goals of Healthy People 2010.

The ADA agrees with the IOM that while the overall oral health status of the U.S. population is improving, significant disparities remain, and that there are numerous barriers impeding millions of Americans from attaining good oral health. People need to understand the value of oral health care and to have the knowledge that empowers them to care for themselves and their families, seek regular professional care, and to navigate the systems that provide access to care.

The Association is pleased that the IOM identified the ADA as a "key partner for HHS," recognizing the ADA's long-standing support for community-based prevention, improvements in the Medicaid program (including care for low-income adults) and sponsorship of oral health access summits that included multiple stakeholders from the public and private sectors.