A 2013 Harris Interactive survey that was conducted by Oral Health America found that 23% of the older adult population hasn?t seen a dentist in 5 years, while 70% don?t have dental insurance. Also, 8 out of 10 uninsured seniors could not pay for a major dental procedure and 33 million individuals live where dentists and clinics are scarce.
So how do you combat these statistics? Oral Health America is working to connect communities with the necessary resources to increase patient oral care and education. Oral Health America is also working with the Wisdom Tooth Project to raise awareness and turn the older generation back towards the dental office.
The Wisdom Tooth Project provides oral health information and local and national rescources for older adults, caregivers and oral health professions. According to the article, the Wisdom Tooth Project also has a ?biennial publication that evaluates states on 5 leading indicators of adult oral health: adult Medicaid dental benefits, inclusion of older adult strategies in state oral health plans, edentulism, dental health professional shortage areas and community water fluoridation.?
In New York, another dental association took their talent and some tools abroad to aid Cuban dental professionals. The Fialkoff Dental Study Club, a group that meets to discuss dental techniques and new procedures in dentistry is led by Dr. Bernard Fialkoff, a periodontist and dental implant specialist team. The team is comprised of 16 members who traveled to Cuba on a humanitarian mission to meet with Cuban dentists, dental students and public health specialists.
The Fialkoff Dental Study Club donated dental equipment and other supplies to help dental professionals in Cuba. Disarm/Global Health Partners, a nonprofit organization, helped fund the trip.
?We have responsibilities to the patient, which will continue to grow as science and research expand the body of knowledge,? Fialkoff said. ?Entrenchment in old fashioned ideas leads to steady decline especially if outlook towards the future is ignored.?