May 19, 2014
by American Dental Association
Report Highlights Solutions, Programs and Needed Next Steps
The American Dental Association (ADA) today released its inaugural “Action for Dental Health: Report to Congress” which recognizes the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Action for Dental Health (ADH) movement and the grassroots efforts taking place across the country to eliminate barriers to dental health.
The report was released during the ADA’s annual Washington Leadership Conference where more than 500 dentists from across the country meet with their Congressional delegations to discuss policy issues to improve our nation’s dental health.
“Millions of Americans continue to face barriers to dental care, which is why the ADA launched Action for Dental Health,” said ADA President Dr. Charles Norman. “While we have accomplished much in the first year, there is still much to do. This Report to Congress serves as a continued call to action for elected officials, health policy organizations, community leaders and the dental community to come together to bridge the dental divide.”
Much attention has been paid to the political debate around the Affordable Care Act while important health issues such as access to dental care are sidelined. This year alone, more than 181 million Americans won’t visit a dentist, even though nearly half of people over 30 suffer from some form of gum disease and nearly one in four children under the age of five already have cavities. Nationally, more than 2.1 million people showed up in emergency rooms with dental pain in 2010 – that’s double the number just a decade prior.
In response to this, the ADA created Action for Dental Health, a nationwide, community-based movement to address barriers to dental health by solving today’s problems through direct help and creating sustainable solutions that provide the best quality of care. After just one year, ADA reports that Action for Dental Health has taken root in every state across the U.S.
The report outlines four key strategies and the corresponding programs that are contributing to the success of the movement:
“We are confident that the momentum generated in the first year of Action for Dental Health will continue to grow and spark additional creative solutions. As doctors of oral health, dentists want to help alleviate suffering from untreated dental disease as well as help people learn how to prevent dental disease before it takes root,” said Dr. Norman.
The ADA has set bold goals for Action for Dental Health. These include:
To review detailed goals for Action for Dental Health, or to download the “Action for Dental Health: Report to Congress” visit ADA.org/action.
The not-for-profit American Dental Association (ADA) is the nation’s largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public’s health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA’s state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA’s flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website MouthHealthy.org.