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Medical journal promotes ER referral programs

April 18, 2017

An article in the April Journal of Emergency Medicine looks at how to lower the number of hospital emergency room visits for dental pain and offers providers tips on how to start ER referral programs, which move patients from a hospital ER to a dental office.

In “Non-Traumatic Dental Issues in Hospital Emergency Rooms: Solutions and Strategies,” Dr. Jane Grover, director of the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention, discusses how efforts in local communities came together to reduce hospital costs for dental treatment as well as ways to improve dental quality. It offers two models for communities interested in starting ER referral programs.

In 2014, the ADA launched Action for Dental Health, a nationwide, community-based movement aimed at ending the dental health crisis facing America today. One of the program’s primary goals is to reduce the number of people who visit the emergency room for dental conditions by referring them to community health centers or private dental practices, where they can receive proper dental care by establishing a dental “home.”

For more information about ER referral programs and the ADA’s Action for Dental Health, visit