Virginia Oral Health Coalition

Excellent Oral Health for ALL Virginians

In This Issue
Register for the 2012 Oral Health Summit
NY Times Highlights Medicaid Dental Cuts
Online Health Reform Resource for Seniors
Poor Oral Health Linked to Low GPA
Dire Oral Health Need for Disabled Adults
Of Interest
Register for the 2012 Oral Health Summit

Body Image

The 2012 Oral Health Summit "Beyond Teeth: The Integral Relationship between Oral Health and Overall Health" will be held on Friday, October 26 in Richmond, Virginia.


Registration is now open through October 19. A discount will be given to those who register by September 14. Preconference activities are also being planned for Thursday, October 25.


Visit the event home page to download the meeting brochure and register online.  


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NY Times Highlights Medicaid Dental Cuts


A recent New York Times article highlights state cuts to Medicaid dental coverage for adults. Virginia is one of the states that only maintains an emergency extraction benefits for adults with Medicaid.


Read the full article


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New Online Health Reform Resource for Seniors


The Virginia Health Navigator Solution Center that provides easy to understad information on health care and health reform to seniors and their caregivers. This resource is made possible through a generous grant from the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation.


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August 2012 Bulletin

Poor Oral Health Linked to Lower Grades


Student StudyA recent study out of the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC found that children who recently reported having tooth pain were four times more likely to have a low grade-point average than their peers without tooth pain. The study, which examined nearly 1,500 socioeconomically disadvantaged elementary and high school students, also concluded that dental problems cause more school absences, especially among those with limited access to care. Researchers recommended integrating oral health into other health, educational and social programs.


Virginia offers a comprehensive Medicaid dental benefit for kids, however less than 50% of those eligible for the benefit actually take advantage of dental services. The Coalition is part of a special stakeholder group working with the Virginia Department of Health to ensure that the state maintains its dental services for children, who make up the majority of their patient population.


The USC study, "The Impact of Oral Health on the Academic Performance of Disadvantage Children," will appear in the September 2012 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.


Read the complete article from the Ostrow School of Dentistry


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Dire Oral Health Care Need for Virginia's Developmentally Disabled Adults


New research shows adults with intellectual and developmental dAdult w Down's Syndromeisabilities experience higher rates of gum disease and untreated tooth decay. Poor communication, lack of manual dexterity and adverse medication reactions further complicate dental care for this population. Additionally, research showed that almost 40% of those studied needed some sort of behavioral assistance to undergo a dental procedure.


In Virginia, adult Medicaid coverage only pays for emergency extractions. For the nearly 8,800 adults in our state with developmental and intellectual disabilities, the fate of their oral health is compromised when they age out of the state's Smiles for Children oral health benefit and are left without coverage for preventative and restorative care. Limited access to care coupled with a shortage of providers who understand how to adequately treat disabled adults can lead to poor oral health outcomes for these patients.


The Coalition is working with its partners to identify solutions to this issue.


Learn more about providing oral care to those with developmental disabilities


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Of Interest

Oral Health and Overall Health
Smile CircleOral health and overall health are fundamentally intertwined. The following links present current information on how oral health affects other conditions in the body.



Dentists Eligible for Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentives

Health recordAccording to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), any dentist whose patient volume is at least 30% Medicaid, and who adopts and correctly implements electronic health record technology, is eligible to receive financial incentives provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.


Read more about eligibility. Interested dental providers should contact the regional extension center for more information.
Virginia Medical School Program Focuses on Oral Health Education

VTC Students
Photo credit: ADA News
Virginia Tech's Carilion School of Medicine now includes an "Oral Medicine/Oral Health" component with nearly 30 hours of oral health education and clinical experience. The goal of the program is to have general health and dental professionals work together, respecting one another's roles and, ultimately, improving patient outcomes. Founding partners Delta Dental of Virginia and the Carilion School of Medicine are also supporters of the Coalition's interprofessional collaboration efforts.



Study Shows Deaths Fell in States that Expanded Medicaid

A report out of Harvard University shows that expanding state Medicaid programs may lead to reduced death rates by creating greater access to care for poor, elderly and vulnerable people. On July 25, the Coalition sent a letter to Governor McDonnell expressing support for a Medicaid expansion in Virginia.


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Please visit our website for more oral health information