Virginia Oral Health Coalition Update

July 2016

In This Issue
Blog: Enhancing Education and Wellness through Oral Health Integration

Read our latest blog post by Dr. Brian Dickens at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Dickens shares a medial-dental team approach to improving public health by integrating oral health education into clinical curriculum and community outreach. 

SYNC: Transforming Healthcare Leadership

Dr. Dickens' team was part of a dynamic interprofessional leadership program, SYNC: Transforming Healthcare Leadership. Learn more about SYNC, including 2016-2017 registration information.

Webinar: Pilot Project to Increase Dental Care for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Two dates available: 
Wed., Aug. 24 at 11:30 a.m.
Thurs., Aug. 25 at 3:00 p.m.

The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services will launch a pilot program in Southwest Virginia to provide payment to private practice and safety net dentists who care for individuals with developmental disabilities. Join the webinar to learn more about the program's launch in Southwest Virginia.

To RSVP, contact Regina Potis and indicate your preferred date.

Webinar Archive: Medical-Dental-Behavioral Integration: One Health Center's Example

The National Network for Oral Health Access hosted a webinar to profile an Ohio health center's efforts to integrate oral health into primary care. Of note, the clinic provides fluoride varnish services for all patients (adults included) because they find it worthwhile, even though it is only a reimbursable service for young children.

Upcoming VaOHC Meetings
VA Oral Health Report Card Workgroup
Thursday, September 1 
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

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Early Dental Home Workgroup
Wednesday, September 7
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

To RSVP, contact Regina Potis.

Save the Date!

2016 Virginia Oral
Health Summit
Thursday, November 10 
The Westin Richmond

Sponsorship and exhibit opportunities are available. Contact Samantha Dorr for details. 

Please take a moment and support the Coalition's work.



Please check with your HR department to find out if your gift can be matched.  


Virginia Oral Health Coalition

4200 Innslake Drive

Glen Allen, Virginia 23060


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Remote Supervision Legislation Not Applicable to Hygienists Employed by Safety Net Sites

Recently-passed legislation that allows dental hygienists to work under remote supervision in safety net settings does not appear to apply to hygienists who are employed by or who volunteer for a safety net clinic (FQHC, free clinic or other). Because the language stipulates that a hygienist must be employed by a dentist, the Board of Dentistry determined that the regulations are not applicable to hygienists working or volunteering for safety net sites. The Virginia Oral Health Coalition will be working with partners who are committed to remedying this in the 2017 legislative session. For questions or more information, contact Sarah Bedard Holland at 804.269.8721.
Marketplace Dental Coverage Set to Become More Affordable for Families

A recent rule change will ensure that tax subsides are available for families who purchase a medical plan that includes a pediatric dental plan and for families who purchase a medical plan and a stand-alone dental plan on the exchange. Initially, subsidies were not available for families who purchased a stand-alone dental plan. Without a dental plan subsidy, pediatric dental coverage has been unaffordable for some, particularly in state marketplaces that only offer pediatric coverage in stand-alone plans. A recent blog post from Children's Dental Health Project provides more details. 
ADA Joins Choosing Wisely to Promote Smart Choices, Reduce Unnecessary Procedures

Choosing Wisely is a national effort, spearheaded by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, to increase conversations between clinicians and patients and minimize overuse of tests and procedures. As a Choosing Wisely partner, the American Dental Association (ADA) has released Five Things Dentists and Patients Should Question and a companion piece Which Dental Treatments are Right For You?

As part of Virginia's State Innovation Model grant, the Virginia Center for Health Innovation used Choosing Wisely's recommendations as a framework to analyze data on how many unnecessary and potentially harmful tests and procedures were taking place in the commonwealth. Read more about that effort (see page 8).

Of Interest
Oral Health and Overall Health

Oral health and overall health are fundamentally intertwined. The following links present current information on how oral health is connected to overall health and well-being. 

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American Fluoridation Society

A coalition of medical and dental professionals have partnered to create the American Fluoridation Society (AFS) to debunk myths and clarify the evidence behind fluoridation's safety and benefits. AFS will "provide testimony and technical assistance to state and local communities that are seeking to start fluoridation or defend the practice against attacks." 

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Report: Caries Risk Factors for Primary Care Providers

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry's (AAPD) Pediatric Oral Health Policy & Research Center released the report Caries Risk Factors for Primary Care Providers Based on Shared Determinants of Health, which identifies several non-dental variables commonly included in pediatric medial records that seem to predict caries risk. The goal of this project is to improve access to preventive oral health care for children by identifying existing health screening measures that may also be associated with caries risk and incorporating those variables into a medically-specific caries risk assessment tool. 

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Adults Visiting Dentists Less, Emergency Departments More

USA Today and other news outlets recently reported that, despite an uptick in dental visits among children, adults are visiting the dentist less, citing cost as a major reason. Concurrently, visits to the emergency department for dental issues are rising. Even among patients with state-funded dental coverage, limited benefits and dental providers make it difficult to find care in states like California, according to the article. In Virginia, adults with Medicaid have a limited emergency extraction benefit; pregnant enrollees gained comprehensive coverage in March 2015.

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