Resolution on the Need for Formal Demonstration Programs to Improve Access to Preventive and Therapeutic Oral Health Services

Whereas, The American Association of Public Health Dentistry views access to preventive and therapeutic oral health services as vitally important for all Americans,

Whereas, the AAPHD desires to foster broad-based policies and programs to help alleviate oral diseases,

Whereas, many populations, such as the Alaska Native population living in remote and isolated villages, have overwhelming unmet oral health needs,

Whereas, access to preventive and therapeutic oral health care for these populations is not readily available,

Whereas, in compliance with federal law, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium has initiated a pilot program based on a long-standing training model to begin to address Native Alaskans’ unmet needs with their Dental Health Aide Program, and

Whereas, other model programs may now exist or be created that could provide effective and novel ways to improve access for high need populations, then

Be it resolved, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry strongly supports innovative demonstration programs aimed at improving access to preventive and therapeutic oral health services for underserved populations and commits to working with the communities of interest to assure an independent and formal evaluation and dissemination of accurate information to the public and the profession about such model programs.

Selected References

  1. Jones DB, Niendorff WJ, Broderick EB. A review of the oral health of American Indian and Alaska Native elders. J Public Health Dent 2000;60 (Suppl 1):256-60.
  2. Morrow GT. 1970 preventive dentistry program. Immediate and long-term results of a control program. Alaska Med 2000; 42(3):88-90.
  3. Nash DA. Developing a pediatric oral health therapist to help address oral health disparities among children. J Dent Educ 2004; 68(1):8-20; Discussion 21-2.
  4. Tuisuva J, Von Doussa R, Dimmer A, Smyth J, Davies G. The sequential modular curriculum for oral health personnel: an evaluation of the Fijian experience after five years. Community Dent Health 1999;16(2):97-101.
  5. Sekiguchi E, Guay AH, Brown LJ, Spangler TJ. Improving the oral health of Alaska Natives. Am J Public Health. 2005;95(5):769-73.
  6. Cane RJ, Butler DR. Developing primary health clinical teams for public oral health services in Tasmania. Aust Dent J 2004;49(4):162-70; .
  7. McDermott PT, Mayhall JT, Leake JL. Dental therapists and the delivery of dental care in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Artic Med Res 1991; Suppl:668-71.
  8. Mertz E, O’Neil E. The growing challenge of providing oral health care services to all Americans. Health Aff 2002;21(5):65-77.
  9. Walsh JP. The dental nurse. J Am Coll Dent 1965;32:62-9.
  10. Lynch CD, Farrelly-Phipps H, O'Byrne MT, Scheller C, McConnell RJ, Dowling P. Dublin Dental Hospital. The National Dental Nurse Training Programme of Ireland. J Ir Dent Assoc 2003;49(4):139-41.

Submitted by Dr. Myron Allukian, Jr. May 3, 2005.

  • Amended and recommended to the AAPHD Executive Council on July 11, 2005 by Oral Health & Policy Committee.
  • Amended, accepted and sent to the membership for review and comments by the AAPHD Executive Council on July 20, 2005. 
  • Amended, accepted and recommended to the membership for support by the AAPHD Executive Council on October 9, 2005. 
  • Sent to the Membership for a Vote November 1, 2005.