202337 Denturists: Alternative healthcare providers for oral health screenings and referrals

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gary W. Vollan, LD , University of Wyoming Student, Basin, WY
The denturist is qualified to provide oral health screenings and referrals. Denturists are licensed oral healthcare professionals who perform a variety of intra-oral procedures and related activities pertaining to the design, construction, repair or alteration of removable dentures for the fully or partially edentulous patient in a variety of practice environments. The denturist works independently with the patient, and collaboratively with other healthcare providers where necessary or appropriate. [1,2] There is a shortage of dentists across the United States.[3,4] Due to this shortage denture care by denturists has proven to be a safe alternative denture delivery system. Denturists serve all segments of the public, crossing economic barriers to provide accessible and affordable denture care. This is an opportunity for oral health wellness to be recognized by a qualified, educated denturist and referral services provided in the event that abnormalities are found. The denturist plays a crucial part in alleviating the aftermath of shortages of dentists by freeing up valuable chairtime for restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dental procedures while at the same time serving the Surgeon General's National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health, [5] “Raising awareness of oral health among legislators and public officials at all levels of government is essential to creating effective public policy to improve America's oral health. Every conceivable avenue should be used to inform policymakers; informally through their organizations and affiliations and formally through their governmental offices, if rational oral health policy is to be formulated and effective programs implemented.” [6]

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the benefits of the denturist professions impact on public health.

Keywords: Oral Health, Access to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Gary W. Vollan is a graduate of the US Navy Dental Technician “A” School in 1971, and a two year dental technician school at Seattle Central Community College in 1980. He graduated from The Oregon Denturist College in 1992 and the IDEC Denturist Program at George Brown College in 2003, in Toronto. He was licensed as an Oregon State Denturist after taking the state board in 1992 and has maintained that license with CE requirements. Gary is a student at the University of Wyoming and works at a dental clinic as a dental assistant and denture laboratory technician.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.