The report “Oral Health in America: Implications for Dental Practice” has been released. It lays out some meaningful ways to make oral health care more equitable, among other things.
About the Report
This report is part of the larger Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges report. It is a combined effort between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).
The report looks at oral health changes since the 2000 oral health report by the Surgeon General. It found that there are still a lot of inequities.
The Report Found Inequities
The report found that overall, access to oral healthcare has improved. But there are still major inequities. Low-income and minority adults don’t have dental insurance and only visit the dentist for emergencies. The report found that while the country has a larger safety net for oral health than it used to, not everyone has benefited. You have the funds or insurance coverage to make an appointment with an affordable dentist in Chicago, like Dr. Sharma. But not everyone has those financial safety nets or even access to a dentist.
Importantly, the report doesn’t just focus on the inequities and other findings. It also offers practical solutions to overcome them. It highlights three main strategies.
The first is to make dental services part of private and public insurance. It also suggests integrating the demand for dental and oral health care into workforce planning. Finally, the report suggests increasing the integration of medical and oral care delivery.
The ADA also submits a challenge to health policymakers and healthcare professionals. The organization challenges these people to increase awareness of oral disease prevention’s importance. Moreover, ADA pushes for policy changes to improve oral health.
The recent Oral Health Report shows that access to oral health care and the safety nets for dental care has expanded in the last 20 years. But there is still a great deal of inequity. The report offers strategies like integrating dental care demand into workforce planning. It also suggests including it in insurance and combining oral and medical healthcare.