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Wisconsin Dental Association produces dental home DVD

Initiative developed continuing education kit with AAPD, Procter & Gamble

West Allis, Wis.—The Wisconsin Dental Association Dental Home continuing education initiative is not only reaching its members with an important message, but stretching past state lines to tripartite members in 49 other states.

The WDA's long-term goal is to ensure every child in Wisconsin has a dental home by age 1, said Dr. Steven Stoll, a general dentist in Neenah, Wis., and the WDA Dental Home Subcommittee chair.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us 2- to 5-year-olds are the only age group in the country where the incidence of decay is on the rise," said Dr. Stoll. "Couple that with solid data showing children seen by age 1 have significantly less dental disease throughout childhood than their peers who are first seen later in life, and you have a compelling reason for that goal."

The WDA Dental Home kit, produced with support from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Procter & Gamble Oral Health, includes a 35-minute DVD divided into nine chapters so dental offices can view portions of the instructional piece over the course of several staff meetings.

"Procter & Gamble Oral Health supported this program because we thought it was a great way to bring action to the concept of a dental home," said Dr. J. Leslie Winston, director of Oral Care Professional and Scientific Relations for P & G. "Importantly, this collaboration between the WDA and AAPD will reach a broad number of general dental practices and provide them with tangible resources to feel more comfortable in seeing young children. Linking that first dental visit before age 1 to the right educational resources for parents and caregivers is critical to preventing a majority of the oral health issues we face today."

The video features Dr. Cliff Hartmann, a pediatric dentist from West Allis, Wis.; Dr. Mike Kaske, WDA president and Twin Lakes, Wis., general dentist; and Dr. Kathy Roth, ADA past president from West Bend, Wis.

Topics covered include the causes and effects of early childhood caries, how to perform a quick oral exam on 1-year-olds using the knee-to-knee method, preventive counseling for parents, treatment options and incorporating the dental home concept into the business of a general dental practice.

The kit also contains a caries risk assessment form, a preventive recommendation form and talking points to help dentists explain the dental home initiative to legislators and media representatives.

The WDA distributed kits to each of its members. For a nominal cost, dentists and hygienists can also take an optional CERP-approved continuing education exam to earn 2 CE credits.

Dental Home kits were also distributed to 34 community dental health clinics throughout Wisconsin and to all U.S. state dental association executive directors.

Last year the AAPD and Head Start launched a Dental Home Initiative to link Head Start children with dental homes by developing a national network of pediatric dentists and general dentists to:

  • provide quality dental homes for HS and EHS children;
  • train teams of dentists and Head Start personnel in optimal oral health care practices; and
  • assist Head Start programs in obtaining comprehensive services to meet the full range of Head Start children's oral health needs.

The initiative, which has launched in 15 states so far, also helps provide parents, caregivers and Head Start staff with the latest evidence-based information on how they can help prevent tooth decay and establish a foundation for a lifetime of oral health. The initiative will be rolled out in all 50 states during its first five years. Additional information on this Head Start Initiative can be found at www.aapd.org/headstart.

"We collaborated with WDA and provided funding for the project, as well as expert content review and background on AAPD policies and guidelines," said Dr. John S. Rutkauskas, CEO, AAPD. "We collectively agreed that this DVD would be beneficial not just to dentists in Wisconsin, but nationwide. The initiative is aimed at getting general dentists more comfortable with seeing young children and that benefits everyone. We also think parts of the DVD will be helpful for use by AAPD-Head Start providers and the sections covering prevention would be helpful for Head Start parents."

Interested state dental associations can purchase the rights to the materials as is or customize the DVD for their own states.

Dentists who are interested in learning more about the video can visit the WDA Web site or contact their individual state dental associations.