The American Dental Association (ADA) has released its second year report tracking the initiatives, goals, and progress to date of the association’s nationwide, community-based movement to improve the nation’s oral health—especially among populations that lack adequate access to regular dental care.
According to a press release from the ADA, the report, titled “Action for Dental Health Year Two: A Progress 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 Maxine Feinberg, DDS.
Action for Dental Health, which has taken root in every state in the nation, 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.