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Forum Category: General Dentistry

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Improving Access to Regular Oral Healthcare

In 2009, the American Dental Association launched the Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC) pilot project in order to examine, evaluate, and resolve factors that cause members of the population to go without oral healthcare in their day-to-day lives. According to new ADA President Robert Faiella, the purpose of this program is to “…address barriers to oral health that go beyond poverty.” The CDHC also serves as a training program of sorts for members of these underserved communities. Recently, the program “graduated” and released 18 newly trained CDHCs back into their communities (e.g., remote rural areas, inner cities, and American Indian lands) to spread the much-needed message of regular oral health.

Several days ago, the ADA released an overview of the program called “Breaking down Barriers to Oral Health for All Americans: The Community Dental Health Coordinator” (http://www.ada.org/breakingdownbarriers.aspx). The paper examines the underlying concept of the CDHC, as well as the development of the curriculum, student recruitment, roles of the participating organizations and institutions, the evaluation of the success of the project, and reportable results. How do you think the CDHC program might affect the future of the dental profession in the United States? Do you think there will be an impact on formal dental education?

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Improving Access to Regular Oral Healthcare

10:31 PM | Jun 25,2015
Since Marquette is the only dental school in Wisconsin, we get to know about most things involving dentist in the state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin is one of the states that is currently part of the CDHC program. I think its a great program. At Marquette, we get to experience the lack of care many individuals receive and the reasons behind them. Many times, it is the lack of information they receive on preventative care that ultimately puts them in the position they present in. I think its a fantastic idea having a coordinator out in rural communities that educate people on the importance of oral health and help them find a “dental home”

Improving Access to Regular Oral Healthcare

02:18 PM | Mar 10,2015
This program seems like a great start to overcoming several of the barriers to care that so many Americans experience. It is programs like this that will fill the gap in oral health in our country. As a student at East Carolina School of Dental Medicine, overcoming the barriers to access is a passion of mine. Our school is built on the mission of "serving the underserved communities in NC." Beginning in May, I will be joining my classmates in rotating to 10 different clinics set up around NC in rural, underserved areas. Here we will be providing care from 8-5 M-F for the communities. We will have to overcome language, financial and transportation barriers in order to serve the citizens. Since we are a new school, there is not yet data on how the program will effect the long-term oral health of the state. It is programs like the CDHC, the ECU School of Dental Medicine and others like it that, I believe, will change access to Oral Health care for the better!

Improving Access to Regular Oral Healthcare

12:50 PM | Oct 02,2014
I think access to care is a major problem in dentistry. Furthermore, I think that the CDHC program is one that is definately beneficial to the underserved commmunities. I know that there are a lot of dentist that do not agree with this program because they feel that it will add somewhat of a competitive aspect to dentisrty for getting patients. But the way I see it is most dentist do not want to deal with underserved patients anyway due to their lack of ability to pay top dollar or because of the health insurance they carry. So I believe this program will give these patients the access that they need to oral hygiene instructions and prevention education that may prevent them from needing to access a general dentist. Furthermore it is my belief that all dentist should support this program because education for prevention is one of the most important aspects of dentistry.

Improving Access to Regular Oral Healthcare

11:03 AM | Nov 01,2012