September2008 Edition
Word of Mouth
A newsletter from the Maine Dental Access Coalition
In This Issue
Free sealant and fluoride varnish materials
Two new grants
Maine Oral Health News
National Research & News
MDAC Policy Workgroup
Employment Opportunities
Content Contributors Wanted
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Welcome to Word of Mouth, the newsletter for all who care about improving the oral health of Maine's people. To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, add your address book today.
Free sealant and fluoride varnish materials
Oral Health America
has dental sealant and fluoride varnish materials to donate for FREE to programs that are serving uninsured and underinsured children. Please contact to find out more.
Oral Health Program Receives Two Federal Grants

Maine's Oral Health Program has received one of 16 grants awarded to statesby the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The five year grant is designed to improve basic state oral health services including program leadership and staff support, monitoring oral disease risk factors, and developing and evaluating disease prevention programs such as community water fluoridation and school-based sealant programs. "The states receiving these awards have documented significant challenges related to the oral health of their citizens," stated William Maas, DDS, MPH, director of the CDC Division of Oral Health. " Some of these funds will be used to assure ongoing staff support for MDAC.
The Oral Health Program has also received a one year grant from HRSA to assist the Maine Dental Access Coalitionsupporting partners intheimplementation of the State's Oral Health Improvement Plan. For more information contact Program Director
Maine Oral Health News
The Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency Program is featured in the the August edition of the American Academy of Family Physicians newsletter for their work in training residents in oral and dental health skills not taught in many -- if any -- other family medicine residency programs around the country.

According to William Alto, M.D., a member of the Maine-Dartmouth faculty, "we're training our residents to put on a pair of gloves and to get in there and check the mouth -- look for cancers, look for problems -- and to deal with them."

Jim Schmidt, D.M.D., (then) chief of dental services at the Togus VA hospital, gave the three FPs hands-on experiences in tooth extractions and other oral health procedures. Eventually, that training morphed into Schmidt's current every-other-week visits to the residency program sites in Augusta and Fairfield.

"My intent when I went out there was to expose these young physicians to what they don't get in medical school and what they do see in their clinical practice," said Schmidt, the sitting president of the Maine Dental Association.
The Maine Board of Dental Examiners is on board with the residency's training program and encourages physicians to create relationships with oral surgeons or dentists. The Maine Dental Access Coalition -- an organization looking for solutions to the state's dental health crisis -- also recognizes the residency's contribution. "The coalition really supports providing wider access in a number of ways, and this is certainly one of them," for the full article, read on.

The Fund for a Healthy Maine is being reviewed by the Health and Human Services Committee, according to a September 15 article in the Bangor Daily Newson the Fund's status. The article discusses the pressure to use the Fund forpurposes other than its'original public health goals. MDAC is a member of the Friends for a Fund for a Healthy Maine.
Kids Oral Health Partnership News
Maine's major health care associations have signed a joint letter in support of efforts to improve oral health in the earliest years of a child's life. The letterdescribes the projects underway in Maine and urges association members tojoin in addressing the needs of this age group. For the full text go to the KOHP website, News and Links.
If you are looking for resources on any aspect of early oral health care, visit the resources page on our website.
If your organization or office would like to receive free training onpromoting early oral health, and identifying and addressing oral health problemsin children 0-5 yearskohp logo, contact or go to the Resources for Providers page at www.kohp.orgto sign up directly.
For notification of up coming training, contact Bonnie Vaughan at the above email.
National Research & News
Children' School performance: Impact of general and and dental healthA study in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry by Blumenshine et al, further confirms the serious impact of poor oral healh on school performance.
Improving Children's Access to Dental Care
More than 100 million Americans have no insurance to help cover dental needs. With health reform discussions ongoing, this briefing examined oral health in the broader conversation of improving quality and expanding access. Three new reports were released at the event: Access to Affordable Dental Care: Gaps for Low-Income Adults, which finds that both dental coverage and access to care are limited for low-income adults and that even low-income adults with dental coverage are not getting sufficient levels of needed dental care; Filling an Urgent Need: Improving Children's Access to Dental Care in Medicaid and SCHIP, a summary of a discussion with oral health experts and their recommendations for state policies related to children's access to oral health care; and the updated fact sheet, Dental Coverage And Care For Low-Income Children: The Role Of Medicaid And SCHIP.
Smile- Benefits Improve. At a time when workers are shouldering an ever-greater share of health-insurance costs, some insurers surprisingly are increasing benefits in dental plans. A growing number of plans are rewarding patients who get regular preventive care by allowing them a higher maximum yearly allowance. Experts say the enhanced preventive care is aimed at reducing overall employer health costs by reducing the prevalence of serious disease. A growing number of studies have linked gum disease to such conditions as pre-term births, diabetes and heart disease, although the relationship is not always well understood by science

Upcoming Legislative Session
The newly created and highly energized MDAC Policy workgroupis meeting to develop a policy agenda for this session and beyond. On the table arethe inclusion oforal health in a bill addressing the needs of pregnant women, and raising MaineCare rates. The workgroup will also be looking at policy changes to improve access and efficiency that don't require legislation.
Next meetings:September 19, and December6, 2008
mdac logoin Augusta, at MCD at 9:00 AM
Employment Opportunities
Medical Care Development is looking for an Oral Health Project Manager. Check out this job and others at the Job Postings page of the MDAC web site.Remember to list your oral health openings here also.
Become a Word of Mouth Contributor
If your organization has an event or an accomplishment you would like to share please send it on. If there are oral health issues and policies you would like toto see addressed in this forum, let us know.
The mission of the Maine Dental Access Coalition isto advocate for and improve access to quality preventative and comprehensive oral health care for all Maine residents.
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