Dentists Make a Difference
Action for Dental Health is a program of the American Dental Association, started in 2013. One year after program inception, the ADA has filed a report with Congress stating that all fifty states are actively participating in the program. Our Placerville dentists and staff supports the goals of Action for Dental Health by contributing to the welfare of our community, such as through a free dental care day for veterans.
What is Action for Dental Health?
In the words of the ADA, “many people face barriers to achieving good health.” For example, over 180 million Americans will not visit a dentist this year, despite the fact that half the people over thirty in this country suffer from gum disease. Some 2 million people visit the emergency room each year for dental care, despite having conditions that are readily treated by regular visits to the dentist. Yet only two percent of state health budgets are allocated to dental service. Thus, there is a need for the dental field to step in and assist in breaking down the barriers to good dental health.
A Three-Part Program
Action for Dental Health encourages the following three steps:
- Providing Care: Emergency room referrals send ER visitors with dental problems to the people best situated to help them — dentists. The elderly are encouraged to continue receiving dental care, whether they live at home or in some type of care facility. The dental health of children is also a particular focus.
- Expanding the Public and Private Safety Net: The ADA encourages the simplification of federal and state programs for dentistry so it is easier for private dentists to participate. They also promote cooperation between private dentists and community health care centers.
- Dental Disease Prevention and Education: Community Dental Health Coordinators are being trained with the goal of having them in every state. These individuals educate patients and assist them to navigate the health care system to “reach the dentist’s chair.”
By instituting this action program, the ADA hopes to reduce the incidence of untreated dental health problems nationwide. You can participate by visiting the Placerville Dental Group regularly, teaching children to care for their teeth, and by not procrastinating with dental problems. Through these steps, you too can avoid untreated disease and take action for better health!