Virginia Oral Health Coalition

  Excellent Oral Health for ALL Virginians   

In This Issue
VHCF Pilots Oral Health Initiative at MOM Projects
South Boston Receives Grant for Dental Clinic
Save the Date! Virginia Oral Health Coalition Summit: Friday, October 21st
The Institute of Medicine Releases Oral Health Access Report
ADA and Ad Council Partner to Improve Children's Oral Health
Articles of Interest
VHCF Pilots Oral Health Initiative at MOM Projects


The Virginia Health Care Foundation, in partnership with the Virginia Dental Association Foundation, announced the launch of a $100,000 initiative to help treat six underserved communities in the Commonwealth through MOM Projects. This initiative will help to underwrite MOM Project expenses, upgrade dental equipment and pilot a low-cost, affordable denture program. For more information, please read the full article  about VHCF's oral health initiative.  

South Boston Receives Grant for Dental Clinic

South Boston received $700,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding for the Halifax Dental Clinic Project and the expansion of the Halifax Primary Care Facility. Funding from the grant will allow the clinic to support at full capacity two dentists, two to four dental assistants and one dental hygienist. The Virginia Department of Health has designated Halifax County as a geographical dental health professional shortage area with more than 1,000 patients visiting its emergency room for a dental complaint each year. To read more about how this grant will help improve oral health for those in the town of South Boston, click here .

July 2011 Bulletin

Virginia Oral Health Coalition Summit: Friday, October 21st, 2011

Save the date! The Virginia Oral Health Coalition's Oral Health Summit is on Friday, October 21st at the historic Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.


Speakers for the Summit include experts in oral health policy, dental and medical collaboration, oral health literacy and pediatric prevention and early diagnosis. In addition, the one-day conference will include a panel discussion focused on oral health workforce issues. We have confirmed presentations from the American Dental Association, The Pew Center on the States, the DentaQuest Foundation and the office of the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources.


The Jefferson Hotel is offering use of its facilities at a great rate and will provide a block of rooms at competitive prices for those of you coming from out of town. Please look for additional information regarding registration and hotel reservations in the Coalition's upcoming newsletter. 

The Institute of Medicine Releases Oral Health Access Report  



The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its latest report titled  

"Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations"  in an effort to address growing oral health and access-to care issues in the U.S. in the wake of the economic recession and subsequent cuts in Medicaid dental benefits throughout the country. 


According to the report, millions of Americans are not receiving needed dental care services because of "persistent and systemic" barriers that limit their access to oral health care. "As the nation struggles to address the larger systemic issues of access to healthcare, we need to ensure that oral health is recognized as a basic component of overall health," says Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, chairman of the Committee on Oral Health Access to Services. The IOM recommends:

  • Changing funding and reimbursement for dental care
  • Expanding the oral health workforce by training doctors, nurses, and other nondental professionals to recognize risk for oral diseases; and
  • Revamping regulatory, educational, and administrative practices.
ADA and Ad Council Partner to Improve Children's Oral Health


The ADA will join with the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives Coalition and the Ad Council on a three-year oral health literacy campaign The result will be an extensive, national public service advertising campaign that will focus on improving the oral health of America's children through oral health messages stressing prevention and the ways parents and caregivers can instill behaviors that will result in a lifetime of good oral health. The campaign is scheduled to begin appearing in national media and on a customized website in 2012.
Of Interest


Medical/Dental Collaboration May Improve Pregnant Women's Outcome

This article, published by the American Dental Hygienists' Association, encourages collaboration between oral health providers and certified nurse practitioners (NPs) and midwives (CNMs) to screen pregnant women for periodontal disease. According to the article, providing basic education (and continuing education) about oral health, periodontal disease and pregnancy would allow these caregivers to improve women's pregnancy outcomes. An abstract of this paper is available online. 



Gum Disease Can Delay Time It Takes to Conceive

Although gum disease has been reported to be a risk factor for many health concerns, this Western Australian study is the first to publish data suggesting that gum disease is one of the modifiable factors that can improve the chance for pregnancy. According to the study, non-Caucasian women with gum disease have more difficulty becoming pregnant than those without gum disease. Other factors, such as a woman's body mass index and age, also negatively impact the time it takes her to conceive.



Higher Reimbursement Rates Means More Dental Care for Children  

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, children in states which have a higher Medicaid reimbursement rate for dental care received more care than those children in states with lower reimbursement. However, children who were covered under Medicaid were less likely to receive dental care than those who were covered under a private insurance. More about this study and its impact are available online.



Obesity Contributes to Poor Oral Health

In 2008, over 1.5 billion adults above the age of 20 were considered obese. According to this study , individuals with a higher body mass index have deeper periodontal pockets, which trap food and plaque more easily.  

Please visit our website for more oral health information