Dental care is the greatest unmet need among children. In 2009, more than 14 million low-income children went without care. Tooth decay affects nearly 60 percent of kids. If untreated, the consequences can be painful and disruptive to learning and daily activities. In extreme cases, untreated decay can lead to serious, potentially life-threatening infections.
Our research and advocacy efforts focus on four efficient, cost-effective strategies:
- Expanding the number of professionals who can provide high-quality dental care to low-income children;
- Ensuring that Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program work better for kids and for providers so that insurance coverage translates into real care;
- Expanding access to fluoridated water; and
- Increasing sealant programs for kids who need them most.
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Read the full editorial at the Washington Post. Read More
Tens of millions Americans lack access to regular dental care. To address barriers to care, the dental team has been expanded to include different types of providers in Minnesota, Alaska, and California. The concept is similar to using physician assistants and other practitioners in the medical field. These mid-level dental providers perform preventive and routine restorative care. In Alaska and... Read More
Lisa Greenshields, a dental hygienist with the Virtual Dental Home project in California, describes working with student patients at an elementary school and how she interacts with her supervising dentist. Read More