202969 Oral Health Across the Commonwealth: A Community-Based Oral Health Initiative

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Kathryn M. Dolan, RDH, MED , Department of Public Health and Community Service, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, West Roxbury, MA
Tufts Community Dental Program and Commonwealth Mobile Oral Health Services joined together in 2004 to launch the Oral Health Across the Commonwealth (OHAC) mobile dental program. This community-based oral health initiative addresses the need for a statewide population based dental program. The initiative is designed to reduce the burden of dental disease for school-aged children and increase the proportion of those who receive dental care. In 2004, the Massachusetts Oral Health Summary Report found that while on average 73% of Massachusetts' children have had a dental visit; only a third of children with MassHealth had a dental visit. And while 79% of Massachusetts' residents had a dental cleaning, only 20% of children with MassHealth had a dental cleaning visit. The goal is to establish a “dental home” for every child in Massachusetts focusing on those children who have limited access to care. The OHAC mobile dental program accomplishes this by providing comprehensive dental treatment, assuring completion of the treatment plan and providing continuous accessible dental services based on need. Oral health services include dental exam and diagnosis, dental cleaning, radiographs, dental fillings, fluoride treatment, sealants, and oral health education and referral services. Program sites include Head Start programs, preschools and public schools (grades K-12). Medicaid and private insurance reimbursement as well as various grants cover the cost of the program. During the 2007-2008 school year, 89 Head Start sites, 38 preschool sites and 143 public schools in Massachusetts participated with over 6,000 children receiving services from the OHAC dental providers.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe three interrelated components of the “Oral Health Across the Commonwealth” mobile dental program. 2. Explain the goal the “Oral Health Across the Commonwealth” mobile dental program 3. List oral health services offered by the “Oral Health Across the Commonwealth” mobile dental program.

Keywords: Oral Health, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Director of the Tufts Community Dental Programs since 1996. I co-authored the grants that funded the initiative "Oral Health Across the Commonwealth" in 2004.
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.