Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Oral Health Care of People with Special Health Care Needs

The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) Best Practices Committee shared an updated Best Practice Approach Report, “Oral Health Care of People with Special Health Care Needs.” This report is the result of efforts by the ASTDD Best Practices Committee to identify and provide information on developing successful practices that address people with special health care needs.

Click here to read the report.

New Report: Oral Health in Patients Experiencing Homelessness

The National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) developed a publication to bring awareness to the intersection of oral health and behavioral health concerns or cognitive impairment in people experiencing homelessness (PEH). The publication shares the impacts of behavioral health illness on oral health and how behavioral health and dental providers can work together to address this intersection in their practices.

2021 Dental HPV Toolkit Now Available

The Massachusetts Oral HPV Task Force developed the first dental toolkit in 2016 to improve HPV knowledge at the dentist. Since then, it has been used in dental outreach across Massachusetts and has been successfully adapted in seven states. The toolkit has now been redesigned to reflect feedback from users and updated to provide the most up-to-date recommendations. It also includes internal training materials on how to recommend the HPV vaccine, as well as in-office communication materials.

Click here to access the free, downloadable toolkit.

Tobacco Cessation Training for Dental Staff

Nicotine Free NWPA has partnered with the Pennsylvania Coalition for Oral Health (PCOH) to develop Integrating Nicotine Dependence Treatment with Oral Health: For Dental Professionals (INDTOH), a 1.2-hour tobacco and nicotine education training that provides a dental-specific follow-up course to the state’s own Every Smoker, Every Time (ESET) cessation training. INDTOH translates information presented in ESET into the oral health setting with focus on providing support and additional training in referring dental patients to cessation treatment programming, offering tools to empower oral health professionals to conduct effective cessation counseling, and informing dental clinicians how to bill for these services. Attendees will be presented data supporting the logic behind offering cessation services as a natural extension of oral and overall health for patients who use tobacco and nicotine products, as well as encouragement to consider systems change towards that end. All interested dental providers should take the ESET training first, which provides entry-level tobacco use-related education for health care professionals. It includes information on effective brief intervention, nicotine replacement therapy, and referral options.

The ESET training takes approximately 45 minutes. This training should be completed via self-study prior to moving on to the second INDTOH webinar. Dental licensees who complete both trainings can earn 2.0 free CEUs.

Dental Access Study in Health Centers

newly released study examines the role of dentist supply, need for care, and long-term continuity in HRSA-funded health centers in the United States. What it found was that even a small increase in dental workforce resulted in greater access to dental care among health center patients. Increases of 0.5 or 1.0 full-time employees could lead to a 5–10 percent increase in possible dental visits. Expansion of the dental workforce and infrastructure is important to increasing access to and use of oral health care. You can also read other articles about quality care delivered by health centers by clicking here.

Foster Children Face Barriers to Good Oral Health

According to a study that was recently published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, youths with a history of foster care are more at risk of having poor oral health and are less likely to see a dentist for a specific dental problem or for routine care than those who have not been in foster care.

Struggling Accessing Oral Health? Share Your Story!

The PA Coalition for Oral Health (PCOH) is collecting stories from all 67 counties around dental issues in our state. We know that many people struggle to find dental care as a basic healthcare need, and we would like to help lend a voice to the changes needed in our system. Only 1 in 4 general dentists in PA accept Medicaid, and many of these are not accepting new patients, or their location requires people to travel for hours to get care. Your story can help us let decision-makers know that change is needed to protect the smiles of all Pennsylvanians. We will share these stories with the Governor’s office, legislators, and the Departments of Health and Human Services to push for changes to the current system.

Please visit the survey link here to submit a story.

New Publication: Oral Health in Patients Experiencing Homelessness 

The National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) developed a publication to bring awareness to the intersection of oral health and behavioral health concerns or cognitive impairment in people experiencing homelessness (PEH). The publication shares the impacts of behavioral health illness on oral health and how behavioral health and dental providers can work together to address this intersection in their practices.

Click here to read the publication.

New Report: Connection Between Oral Health and Mental Health

A new CareQuest Institute survey found that poor mental health status may be linked to dental fear and delayed dental care. In January and February 2021, CareQuest conducted a nationally representative survey to examine attitudes, experiences, and behaviors related to oral health. Respondents self-rated their mental health and oral health status and answered questions about oral healthcare utilization. Findings from this study showed consistent oral health disparities among those with self-identified poor mental health.

Click here for more information.