Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

How to Read a Study About Fluoride or Fluoridation

A new guide jointly produced by the British Fluoridation Society and the American Fluoridation Society, “How to Read a Study About Fluoride or Fluoridation,” can help dental and public health professionals strengthen their ability to assess water fluoridation research quality. The guide offers nine scientifically-based suggestions for assessing the quality of published research. The guide is accompanied by a “spoof research paper” that can be used to to apply these nine suggestions.

Click here to access the guide.

WHO Adds Dental Treatments to Essential Medicines List

The World Health Organization (WHO) added glass ionomer cement, silver diamine fluoride, and topical fluoride-containing preparations such as toothpaste in its updated “Model List of Essential Medicines for Adults and Children.” This is the first time that the WHO has deemed the dental preparations to be essential. The listings aim to address global health priorities, identifying the medicines that provide the greatest benefits, and which should be available and affordable for all.

Click here for more information.

Reducing Opioid Prescribing by Oral Health Professionals

The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) released a policy statement, “Reducing Opioid Prescribing by Oral Health Professionals.” Dentists have been identified as the second most frequent prescribers of opioids after family physicians. The statement offers relevant data and highlights policies and strategies that have been implemented to reduce prescription of opioids in oral health care.

Click here to read the statement.

New Video Released on Importance of Oral-Systemic Connection

The CareQuest Institute for Oral Health released a new video, “The Oral-Systemic Connection and Why It’s Important for Dental Professionals.” The video features Dr. Sean Boynes, Vice President of Health Improvement. Dr. Boynes emphasizes the importance of recognizing that the mouth is part of the body. A disease in the mouth affects the rest of an individual’s systemic wellbeing.

Click here to watch the video.

PA Physician General Presents Water Fluoridation Awards

Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson presented water fluoridation awards on behalf of the American Dental Association (ADA), the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week at the Water Works Operators’ Association of PA conference. This was the first time PA is honoring award winners in-person at the conference.

See below for a list of awardees:

 50 Year Award (50 years of continuous service):
Beaver Falls Municipal Water Authority, Reading Area Water Authority, Chester Water Authority, Red Lion Municipal Authority, Aqua Pennsylvania – Shenango Valley,
and Suez Middleton Water

Community Water Fluoridation Reaffirmation Award:
Ebensburg Borough Municipal Authority and Shippensburg Borough Water Authority

Community Initiative Award:
Meadville Area Water Authority

Water Fluoridation Quality Award:
Greenville Water Authority and Municipal Authority of the Borough of Lewistown

CDC Training: Building the Safest Dental Visit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a free online training safe dental practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The online, self-paced training gives an overview of infection prevention and control principles that form the basis for the CDC recommendations for dental settings. It is designed to educate dental healthcare personnel, infection prevention coordinators, educators, consultants, and others.

Click here for more information.

New Federal Maternal and Child Health-Oral Health Webpage Launched

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) introduced a new webpage featuring program priorities and investments in oral health. Oral health is vital to the health and well-being of pregnant individuals, children, adolescents, young adults, and families. To improve oral health, MCHB aims to increase access to preventive services, foster and integrated workforce, and achieve health equity.

Click here to view the webpage.

Adult Medicaid Issue Brief Published

Community Catalyst, the American Dental Association (ADA) Health Policy Institute, (HPI) and Families USA published an issue brief on the current landscape of dental coverage for Medicaid-enrolled adults. “Making the Case for Dental Coverage for Adults in All State Medicaid Programs” illustrates how comprehensive dental coverage is a major driver of access to dental care and improved oral health for Medicaid-enrolled adults. The authors discuss federal policy options to ensure that all states offer adequate adult dental coverage in Medicaid that could reduce cost barriers and improve access to dental care for adults across the United States.

Click here to view the issue brief.

Seniors Are Spending a Lot Out of Pocket on Dental

About 31.3 million Medicare beneficiaries (53%) paid an average of $874 out-of-pocket for dental services in 2018, a new analysis from Kaiser Family Foundation shows. About 4.6 million beneficiaries (8%) had average out-of-pocket spending on hearing care of about $914, while 30.2 million Medicare beneficiaries utilized vision services and had an average out-of-pocket expense of $230. Democrats’ reconciliation bill would expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing benefits. Joe Hollander, CEO of Scranton Primary Health Care Center, testified recently during a congressional hearing on the subjec.