Virginia Oral Health Coalition

  Excellent Oral Health for ALL Virginians

In This Issue
Dental Home Initiative CE Course
Report: Need for Oral Health Quality Improvement
VaOHC Visits General Assembly
VCU Dept of Oral Health Promotion
Report: Underinsured Visit ER for Dental Pain
Of Interest

VA Dental Home Initiative CE Course

Feb. 17, 2012



The Coalition will host a Virginia Dental Home Initiative (VDHI) training on Friday, February 17, 2012, in Norfolk, VA. The day-long training will cover the importance of providing a secure, consistent dental home for very young children in the state. Dentists, hygienists, early childhood educators and anyone interested in learning about providing oral health services for children are invited to attend. 


Pre-registration is required by Wednesday, February 8, 2012. 


Visit the event homepage to register or download a flyer


4 CERP credits provided by Virginia Dental Association


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New Report Calls for Quality Improvement in Oral Health
A recent report funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the DentaQuest Institute calls for expansion in oral health quality improvement. The report outlines the factors that drive the quality improvement effort and lists systematic barriers that have slowed change. Notably, the report finds that dental expenses are the second highest out-of-pocket consumer expense,
falling just under prescription medications.


January 2012 Bulletin

Tell Policy Makers to Save the Dental Safety Net


This morning, VaOHC staff, board members and partners visited the General Assembly to advocate on behalf of the dental safety net.  


L to R: Tom Kurtz (Highland Medical Center), Delegate Onzlee Ware and Robin Haldiman (CHIP of Roanoke Valley)

Specifically, the group asked legislators to:

  • Restore funding to state-supported dental clinics 
  • Restore funding to free clinics, community health centers and organizations that support the safety net
  • Support a Joint Commission on Healthcare study to explore the economic impact of oral health access in Virginia
  • Support VCU's faculty licensure bill  
    Senator George Barker

Senator George Barker (right) also stopped by to speak about the Joint Commission study resolution (SJ 50), which he patrons, and to offer insight about the legislative process. 


You can continue to advocate on behalf of these issues by contacting your legislator. Visit our website for additional information on state-supported dental clinics and oral health legislation, as well as a list of key legislative contacts.


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VCU School of Dentistry Creates New Department for Oral Health Promotion and Community Outreach

VCU LogoVirginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has created a new department within its School of Dentistry for Oral Health Promotion and Community Outreach. The department, chaired by Kim Isringhausen, BSDH, RDH, MPH, was formed to expand community engagement activities of students and faculty in the School of Dentistry. The BS program in Dental Hygiene will administratively reside within this new department and will be directed by Michelle McGregor, RDH, BS, M.Ed.

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Report: Underinsured Visit ER for Dental Pain


Hospital SignA recent USA Today article takes a closer look at un- and underinsured Americans who visit the emergency room (ER) to relieve their dental pain, due to a lack of dental insurance coverage. Of interest, the article points out that ER physicians and health care providers cannot actually pull a tooth or treat dental problems - they can only manage pain. Despite the fact that treatment at a dental clinic would be cheaper and more effective, many states still do not offer a Medicaid dental benefit for adults.


The Coalition is currently advocating to support a Joint Commission on Healthcare study on the economic impact of dental-related ER visits in Virginia. View study legislation (Barker, SJ 50)


For more information, read the Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis's report, Use of Emergency Departments for Conditions Related to Poor Oral Healthcare.


Of Interest

Oral Health and Overall Health
Oral health and overall health are fundamentally intertwined. This article discusses the link between depression/anxiety and tooth loss. 

General Anesthesia Caries Treatment Associated with Improved Oral Health Quality of Life

Child Smile 2A recent study of Auckland children aged 10 and under found that treatment of early childhood caries under general anesthesia was associated with considerable improvement in their oral health-related quality of life.


Governor Signs Final Regulations for Mobile Dental Clinics

Governor McDonnell has signed final regulations establishing registration requirements for mobile dental clinics and other portable dental operations. The regulations went into effect on January 4, 2012, and can be viewed in full here (see page 652).

Please visit our website for more oral health information