To inform and advance research and policy development that will promote optimal children’s oral health and care.
Activities of the Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center
Conduct oral health policy research that advances children’s oral health issues and supports AAPD public policy and public relations initiatives at the national, state, local, and international levels with legislatures, government agencies, professional associations, and other non-governmental organizations.
Monitor and reports on state, national, and international data concerning the oral health status and overall health status of children
Develop and implement special project activities that advance children’s oral health issues and public understanding of such, in accordance with AAPD policies and guidelines
To produce timely and high quality policy analysis on critical issues impacting children’s oral health.
To produce useful studies and analysis to further the understanding of practices which will contribute to the oral health of all children
An Essential Health Benefit: General Anesthesia for Treatment of Early Childhood Caries
The AAPD Oral Health Policy and Research Center is pleased to announce the publication of a Technical Report: An Essential Health Benefit: General Anesthesia for Treatment of Early Childhood Caries. The report provides information in support of the assertion that General Anesthesia may be a medically necessary when treating some dental patients and, therefore, should be included as an essential health benefit under both public and private medical insurance coverage for children.
Click here to download the technical brief.
Considerations for Caries Risk Assessment in an Essential Health Benefits Dental Plan for Children
The AAPD Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center is pleased to announce the publication of a Technical Brief: Considerations for Caries Risk Assessment in an Essential Health Benefits Dental Plan for Children, which provides an overview of the current research on caries risk assessment, and its potential to improve its use in clinical care of children. Recommendations and consideration related to the use of caries risk assessment in an essential dental benefits plan are discussed as they relate to current scientific evidence is reviewed.
Click here to download the technical brief.
New Zealand Government Reports
New Zealand is often touted as an example of how alternative dental providers may impact access to dental services and, ultimately the oral health of children at higher risk of dental disease. The POHRPC has compiled reports published or commissioned by the government of New Zealand that summarize the findings of a national review of the system, detailed information about child oral health inequalities, factors that contribute to these inequalities and recommendations to alleviate these inequalities, and discuss challenges and costs of such a system.
Click here to access these government reports.
State Dental Periodicity Schedules
Early and periodic screening, diagnostic and treatment (EPSDT) services are required services under the Medicaid program for most individuals under age 21. EPSDT is defined in section 1905(r) of the Social Security Act (the Act) and includes periodic screening, vision, dental, and hearing services and other necessary health services. Schedules specifying the content and periodicity of these services are to be established by each state after consultation with recognized medical organizations involved in child health care (in the case of screening, vision and hearing services) and dental organizations (in the case of dental services).
The Policy Center has compiled the Dental Periodicity Schedules for all states that have them. Click here to view the interactive map.
Second Opinion: Gorillas in the Dental Operatory
POHRPC Director Dr. Paul Casamassimo was recently provided a second opinion piece that appeared on Dr.Bicuspid.com. The article addresses ongoing financial and cultural challenges associated with Medicaid as it relates to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
According to Casamassimo, "Often, criticism is exchanged between the dental profession and child advocates about Medicaid reimbursement and dentists' willingness to care for Medicaid-supported children at reimbursements well below their typical fee. However, the reality of the inadequacy of Medicaid reimbursement as it relates to safety net dental programs caring for the poor brings this inequity into clearer focus. Today, across the U.S., safety net dental programs are failing or at risk because the cost of providing dental care has increased while Medicaid reimbursement has not."
Click here to read the article.
NCHS Data Brief - August 2012
In August, 2012, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics released a new data brief entitled "Oral Health Disparities as Determined by Selected Healthy People 2020 Oral Health Objectives for the United States, 2009–2010." Click here for the full brief.
See also: NCHS Data Brief - No. 96 - May 2012 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics "Selected Oral Health Indicators in the United States, 2005–2008."
The National Dental PBRN is now Enrolling new Practitioners
The national network is a consortium of practices and clinics devoted principally to the oral health care of patients, but whose members investigate research questions with practical impact that will improve the quality of dental care.
The goals are to conduct national oral health studies on topics of importance to practitioners and their patients, to provide evidence to improve routine dental care, and to facilitate movement of the latest evidence into routine clinical practice. A key objective is to conduct studies that will improve the knowledge base for clinical decision-making.
Click here to download an informational brochure on the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.
AAPD Testifies at FDA Amalgam Hearing
At the ADA's request, the AAPD submitted both written comments for the record and testified in person at hearings on dental amalgam conducted by the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) dental products panel on Dec. 14-15, 2010, in Gaithersburg, Md. AAPD President John R. Liu presented the testimony, for which dental groups like the AAPD were only allotted four minutes while the anti-amalgam groups (who petitioned the FDA for reconsidered of its 2009 final regulation that amalgam was safe) were given much more time and latitude.
FDA Hearing - AAPD Oral Statement
FDA Hearing - AAPD Comments for Docket
The FDA panels did support the 2009 ruling, while recommending additional research. This is not surprising, because despite the presence of knowledgeable dentists on the FDA panel, including pediatric dentist Norman R. Tinanoff (chair of pediatric dentistry at the University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery), some non-dentists members of the panel had clear and vocal sympathy for the anti-amalgam arguments. The ADA stated that: "The Association commended an advisory panel’s call for continued research while offering support for the Food and Drug Administration’s current amalgam regulation.The panel found that FDA acted appropriately in ruling last year that dental amalgam is a safe and effective treatment option for the general population." The full ADA statement is available at: http://www.ada.org/5145.aspx.
Dental Town Second Opinion
A Two Tier Standard: Dr. Rhea Haugseth argues against having a two-tiered standard of care for our nation's most vulnerable children.
Dental Town Second Opinion Article
WebMD Article on Bisphenol A Research
AAPD Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center Director, Dr. Paul Casamassimo responds to research on bisphenol A by underscoring the need for additional research. According to Dr. Casamassimo, "More research is needed. We need to be constantly vigilant with kids and look at what we do and find out if these are valid findings over the long term," Follow the link for the full WebMD aticle.
Click here for the full article.
Policy Center Advisory Board
Expanded Function Dental Assistant Toolkit
Selected Oral Health Indicators in the United States, 2005–2008
For additional information contact the Center's Assistant Director Jan Silverman at POHRPC@aapd.org.