Increasing Access to Oral Health for the Uninsured and Underinsured
Access to oral health is a challenge for uninsured and underinsured individuals and their families. Safety net oral health facilities help this vulnerable population meet that challenge. This section provides tools and resources such as how- to guides, case studies, a variety of publications and links related to developing an oral health access program.
Oral Health Project
Americares first Oral Health Project began in September 2016 with a goal of improving the way oral health education is delivered to patients who have low-literacy. The project utilized the “What to Do for Healthy Teeth” book, developed by The Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA), an easy-to-follow, simply written guide that covers a full range of oral health topics on how best take care of teeth, gums, and overall oral health. Americares U.S. Program partnered with IHA on a year-long initiative to address oral health education in both primary care FCC and charitable dental clinic settings to address the gap in dental benefits for low income patients and the significant role that oral health plays in systemic health. Americares partnered with IHA to create a customized Master “Train the Trainer” webinar series on integrating IHA’s book into oral health education with patients seeking care at free and/or charitable clinics (FCCs). Each clinic received the books, dental hygiene items, and participated in ‘Train the Trainer’ online training sessions for how to deliver the educational modules to 30 clinic staff members.
You can read the final Oral Health Project report here.
Charitable Dental Clinic Leadership Institute (CDCLI)
Americares will soon launch our Charitable Dental Clinic Leadership Institute (CDCLI) as a continuation of our work in the Oral Health space. CDCLI is the first continuing education program of its kind aimed at equipping the next generation of leaders to build and manage high-performing charitable dental clinics and programs across the United States. We have selected five “exemplary” charitable dental clinics across the United States to serve as models for how smaller dental clinics, or free clinics that offer a dental practice, can elevate their programs from “good to great.” We look forward to sharing more information about this opportunity to our clinic network as soon as it is available.
- Dental Care Survey Quantitative Results - August 2014
- Integrating Low-Literacy Dental Health Education into the Health Care Safety Net
How To Guides
- Developing an Oral Health Access Program in a Free Clinic: A How-To-Guide written by Mark Cruise of Free Clinic Solutions
- Three Safety Net Delivery System Models for Oral Health Access: The Fixed Site, the Referral Network, and the Mobile Model
- A Guide for Developing and Enhancing Community Oral Health Programs - The American Association for Community Dental Programs
- Mobile-Portable Dental Manual - National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
- Safety Net Dental Clinic Manual - National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
- Increasing Assess to Dental Care through Public Private Partnerships: Contracting Between Private Dentists and FQHCs - Children's Dental Health Project
- Providing Faith-based Medical and Dental Care Ministries of Jesus, Edmond, Oklahoma
- Harnessing the Expertise of Retired Medical Professionals Community Volunteers in Medicine, West Chester, Pennsylvania
- Improving Dental Care Access for Low-Income Populations -Wright State University
- Increasing Access to Dental Care by Adding Dental Therapists - Community Catalyst
- Breaking Down Barriers to Oral Health for All Americans: Repairing the Tattered Safety Net - American Dental Association
- Outside four walls: Health centers improving access to dental care - National Academy for State Health Policy
- Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations, a report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council for HRSA, assesses the oral health care delivery system in the United States and provides a roadmap for public and private partnerships to create an integrated delivery system of oral care for vulnerable and underserved populations.
Tools and Practice Guidelines
- Clinical Recommendations from ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry - American Dental Association
- The Interprofessional Initiative is “the nation's only comprehensive oral health curriculum designed to enhance the role of primary care clinicians in the promotion of oral health for all age groups through interactive online learning.” They have invested in the development of a national curriculum, Smiles for Life. Eight (current) 45-minute modules covering core areas of oral health relevant to physicians (American Academy of Family Physicians), nurses (NYU Nursing), PA’s, pediatricians and midwives.