Outside looking in

March 21, 2012
Issue 12

December 2010 | dentalproductsreport.com outside-the-industry insights Outside looking in by Natalie Hasselbacher, Web Editor December 2010 | dentalproductsreport.com outside-the-industry insights Outside looking in by Natalie Hasselbacher, Web Editor

December 2010 | dentalproductsreport.com
outside-the-industry insights

Outside looking in

by Natalie Hasselbacher, Web Editor

December 2010 | dentalproductsreport.com
outside-the-industry insights

Outside looking in

by Natalie Hasselbacher, Web Editor

 

Dr. Bob Russell
I-Smile Dental Home
With a mission to protect the health and wellness of every Iowan through the prevention and early detection of dental disease and through the promotion of optimal oral health, the Oral Health Bureau of the Iowa Department of Public Health developed the I-Smile Dental Home initiative to help Iowa’s children connect with dental services.

The initiative was created in response to legislation requiring Medicaid-enrolled children age 12 and younger to have a dental home.

The legislation for the I-Smile program states that by Dec. 31, 2010, every recipient of medical assistance who is a child 12 years of age or younger shall have a designated dental home and shall be provided with dental screenings and preventive services, diagnostic services, treatment services, and emergency services.

“I-Smile was put into legislation in 2005 and became a working program in late 2006,” said Dr. Bob Russell, Iowa Public Health Dental Director.

According to Dr. Russell, the program continues to see uphill movement and this year’s report, which comes out in January, will show major promise.

“With the 24 coordinators existing across the state and acting as a liaison between the dental and medical practices, children are being evaluated and referred to dental offices,” Dr. Russell said. “We are getting the most out of the providers who are willing. The fielding coordinators are performing risk assessments among children under the age of three.”

As far as education and creating more awareness among families goes, the coordinators also are facilitating school-based events.

“In Iowa, entrant screenings are mandatory for students to register for school,” Dr. Russell said. “The coordinators set up programs in the schools.”

According to the program’s update report from January 2009, more children are receiving early dental care as a result of the I-Smile initiative. Data shows that since the first year of implementation in 2005, 61% more children are receiving exams from dentists.

Other states are looking at similar models in efforts to create successful programs like I-Smile.

Rep. Peter Koutoujian
State Legislator
Massachusetts legislator Peter Koutoujian concentrated on several public safety and public health issues this session.
Koutoujian filed a bill that would increase the number of dental hygienists on the Board of Registration in Dentistry from one to three.

Renee Pietrangelo
Special Needs
Renee Pietrangelo is the CEO of a small nonprofit association that represents community service providers who support people with disabilities.

John Buse, MD, PhD
Physician
John Buse, MD, PhD, is the director for the Diabetes Care Center at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Sarah Phillips
Patient
Sarah Phillips, a 31-year-old resident of Baltimore, Md., talks about her process of finding a new dentist in her area-what surprised her and what has changed her approach to dentists forever.


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