Child and Adolescent Healthcare Quality and Healthcare Disparites Reports

November 14, 2008

The 2007 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report indicate disparities in oral health care quality, access, and utilization for children.

Since 2003, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has produced an annual National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report.  These studies are a “report card” on the Nation’s health.  Several measures featured in recent reports pertain to the oral health of children.

Key findings include:

  • The percentage of children ages 2-17 with a dental visit in the past year has increased and is now over 50 percent.
  • From 1999-2004, the proportion of children with untreated dental caries was higher for Blacks (24.4%) and Mexican Americans (31.2%) than for Whites (17%).
  • The percentage of children with a dental visit in the past year was lower for poor, near poor, and middle income children compared with high income children

The fact sheet, with links to the full report and detailed data tables may be viewed online.

Read recent articles, as indexed in PubMed.

Browse a list of internet resources pertaining to acess to oral health care.

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Oral Health: The Public Speaks

October 20, 2008

The American Dental Association, in collaboration with Crest and Oral-,B conducted a national public opinion survey on oral health care.  The survey represented  1,000 Americans ages 18 and older, living in the continental United States. The survey focused on the following areas:

  • The public’s perceptions of their oral health care, with a special focus on African Americans, Hispanics and lower-income Americans
  • Americans’ knowledge of effective and essential oral health care habits
  • Oral health habits among the nation’s youth
  • The psychological benefits of a healthy smile

Key findings include:

  • Eight out of  ten Americans say taking care of one’s mouth, teeth and gums is “absolutely needed; however, only one-third of them say they do an “excellent” job taking care of them
  • One out of four parents describe their children’s job of taking care of their oral health as fair” or “poor”

More than one in three Americans say:

  • They think a little bleeding from brushing is normal (33%)
  • They are unaware that periodontal disease needs to be treated and cannot be left alone (33%)
  • They don’t know that poor oral health has been associated with serious health conditions such as stroke, heart disease  and diabetes (37%)

The full report and related documents are available on the ADA site.

Links to resources for educating your patients on oral health conditions, treatment and prevention may be found here.


Millions of Children Estimated to Have Untreated Tooth Decay: New Report

September 29, 2008

On September 22, the Government Accountability Office released a report stating that more than 6.5 million children who are currently enrolled in Medicaid have problems with tooth decay.  Furthermore, children in Medicaid remain at higher risk of dental disease compared to children with private health insurance.  In fact, children in Medicaid were almost twice as likely to have untreated tooth decay.

A summary, with links to the full report, may be found here.

A list of recent articles on Medicaid and Oral Health may be found in PubMed.


Kaiser Commission Releases New Reports on Dental Health Coverage and Access

July 30, 2008

At the July 25 Capitol Hill briefing, “Dental Health: Time to Address the Health Care System’s Neglected Stepchild?”, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured released the following new reports and briefings:

  • Access to Affordable Dental Care: Gaps for Low-Income Adults
  • Filling an Urgent Need: Improving Children’s Access to Dental Care in Medicaid and SCHIP
  • Dental Coverage And Care For Low-Income Children:  The Role Of Medicaid And SCHIP

The reports, and a webcast of the briefing, may be found here.


Catalog of Surveys and Archive of Procedures Related to Oral Health

May 8, 2008

Brought to you by the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research and the Center for Disease control, this catalog contains studies and surveys related to oral health.  The archive contains clinical indices, questionnaires, and other methods of measuring oral health. 

This searchable database is available online free of charge.


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