Improving Community Access to Oral Health Education and Prevention Services

Community Dental Health Coordinator
To help expand access to the same high quality dental care available to all Americans, the ADA is helping to develop a new member of the oral health team, a Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC). CDHCs are community health workers with dental skills focusing on education and prevention.  The CDHC pilot program is part of a comprehensive approach to access to care that also includes improving Medicaid reimbursement rates, placing new focus on oral health education and prevention and increasing government investments in the public health infrastructure. For more information about CDHCs please download the brochure here.

Indian Health Service Early Childhood Caries Initiative
The Indian Health Service (IHS) Early Childhood Caries (ECC) Initiative is a multi-faceted program designed to enhance knowledge about early childhood caries prevention and early intervention among not only dental providers, but also all healthcare providers and the community. The initiative provides the entire healthcare team with the tools to begin a successful ECC program. Increasing access to oral health care and evidence-based prevention is a collaborative effort that must include the oral health care team, medical providers, Community Health Representatives, Head Start staff, and Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program staff. The Initiative also provides the framework to dental providers for ECC early intervention focusing on “caries stabilization”.

Arizona American Indian Oral Health Summit Report
The 2011 Arizona American Indian Oral Health Summit brought together representatives from tribes, urban Indian organizations, IHS and key state, public health and private sector stakeholders to share information, resources and strategies for improving access to dental services and the oral health of Native communities in Arizona.  The two-day Summit focused on important knowledge and capacity building issues and facilitated peer-to-peer mentorship and collaborative problem solving. This report summarizes the Summit’s findings and recommendations and serves as a valuable resource for tribal leaders, administrators, care providers and stakeholders working to improve oral health in Arizona Indian Country.
Download the report here.

An Action Plan from the Urban Indian Health Summit
In an effort to further understand the implications of health reform for urban Indians, the Seattle Indian Health Board hosted an Urban Indian Health Summit in Washington, D.C., bringing together leaders in the urban Indian health field. Actualizing Health Care Reform for Urban Indians: An Action Plan From the Urban Indian Health Summit is a report based on summit discussions that outlines strategies to ensure the success of reform for urban Indians. The report highlights areas where federal partnership will be essential, such as workforce development and understanding the value of the Federally Qualified Health Center designation.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored both the Urban Indian Health Summit and its report.
Download the report here.

American Dental Association Early Childhood Caries Symposium Report
The American Dental Association and IHS co-hosted the Symposium on Early Childhood Caries (ECC) in American Indian and Alaska Native Children in November of 2009. This report presents the key findings of academic researchers, IHS dentists and pediatricians about the current state of ECC among American Indians and Alaska Natives, and what is being done to treat this disease.

Promising Directions for Caries Prevention with American Indian and Alaska Native Children
This brief report written by Judith E.N. Albino and Valerie A. Orlando from the Center for Native Oral Health Research at the University of Colorado Denver reviews caries trends among American Indian children and describes promising approaches that take into account culturally defined responses of AI/AN tribes and communities.

A Healthy Mouth For Your Baby
Healthy teeth are important–especially baby teeth!  This booklet can help you keep your baby’s mouth healthy and give him a healthy start!  It is a unique, practical guide to preventing Early Childhood Caries.  View the booklet online, print it and share it!

Dental Associations Serving Native Communities

American Dental Association
The American Dental Association (ADA) is the professional association of dentists committed to the public’s oral health, ethics, science and professional advancement; leading a unified profession through initiatives in advocacy, education, research and the development of standards.

Arizona Dental Association
The Arizona Dental Association mission is to be the foremost provider of leadership, resources and advocacy to ensure our member’s success and the promotion of oral health.

New Mexico Dental Association
The New Mexico Dental Association promotes oral and general health care in New Mexico; advances the art and science of dentistry; represents the interests of members of the dental profession; and, fosters an awareness of the obligation and responsibility of the dental profession to society.

North Dakota Dental Association
The North Dakota Dental Association is the leading advocate of oral health promoting education and service to its members and the public.

South Dakota Dental Association
The South Dakota Dental Association’s mission is to promote the art and science of dentistry and the oral health of the public; educate the public on the benefits of quality preventive and restorative dentistry as provided by the entire dental health care team; and be of service to its members regarding practice health and their general welfare.

Students and Educators

Pathways Into Health
Pathways Into Health is a grassroots collaboration of more than 150 individuals and organizations dedicated to improving the health, health care, and health care education of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) in this country.

American Indian Graduate Center
The American Indian Graduate Center helps make higher education more attainable for American Indians/Alaska Natives by providing scholarships and mentor programs – giving undergraduate and graduate students alike the opportunity to obtain college degrees or certifications and develop professionally. Since 1969 they have helped more than 15,000 AI/AN students obtain a post-secondary education with more than $44 million in scholarship awards.

American Indian College Fund
The American Indian College Fund provides scholarships and other support for the American Indian students. The Fund disburses approximately 6,000 scholarships annually for American Indian students seeking to better their lives through higher education.

American Student Dental Association
The American Student Dental Association is a national student-run organization that protects and advances the rights, interests, and welfare of students pursuing careers in dentistry. It introduces students to lifelong involvement in organized dentistry and provides services, information, education, representation and advocacy.”

American Dental Education Association
The mission of ADEA is to lead individuals and institutions of the dental education community to address contemporary issues influencing education, research, and the delivery of oral health care for the health of the public. ADEA’s activities encompass a wide range of research, advocacy, faculty development, meetings, and communications like the esteemed Journal of Dental Education.

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