Additional Oral and Dental Health Reports
Since the 1980s ASTDD has used the Guidelines for State and Territorial Oral Health Programs to assist health agency officials and public health administrators to develop and operate strong oral health programs. The Guidelines promote integration of oral health activities into public health systems to assure healthy populations and communities for tomorrow.
Today’s Americans face steep challenges in maintaining a healthy family amidst a troubling economy and an inadequate healthcare system. Dental care is often neglected due to lack of access or affordability–resulting in caries becoming the most common chronic disease in children. Families tend to seek emergency care only when oral health problems become too severe, which dramatically increases the costs of care for programs. the health care system to more successfully promote prevention?
While the dental home concept is clearly articulated by organized dentistry and accepted as policy, its widespread adoption and implementation will require consideration of environmental factors that include: (1) the advent of social medicine, (2) expanding knowledge of caries risk and its management; (3) trends in oral health disparities and the demography that drives those disparities; (4) parents’ perceived needs for, and barriers to, dental care; (5) dentistry’s relationship to medicine as a profession; and (6) dental services capacity.
Although children’s dental health in the U.S. has improved over recent decades, a subset of children continues to suffer dental disease severe enough to constitute a public health problem. The Chartbook that follows examines dental health status, use of preventive services, and dental insurance among rural and urban children. The Chartbook provides information specific to rural children, and in particular rural minority children, not available in similar detail from other sources. This information can be used at the state level for program planning and assessment.