MDAC logoMarch 2009  Edition
Word of Mouth
A newsletter from the Maine Dental Access Coalition
In This Issue
Oral Health Heroes
At the Legislature
Maine News
National News
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Dear Sarah,
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. 
Oral Health Heroes
Wendy Alpaugh DMD, Representative Lisa Miller, Sherri Camick RDH, and Teresa Alley RDH, ( left to right) were recognized for their contributions to Maine's oral health at the MDAC Legislative Breakfast last month. 
The breakfast was well attended by legislators who had an opportunity to meet our heroes and talk oral health with MDAC members.
Rep Meridith Strang Burgess and Senator Kevin Raye were among the legislators attending this year's event.
MDAC Video Project mdac logo
In preparation for this year's Legislative Breakfast the MDAC Policy Work Group decided to make a short video illustrating the consequences of inadequate oral health policies and the human cost. This is a tall order to accomplish in 5 minutes but we think it makes a good case. Many thanks go to the work of Policy Group members Kathryn Young and Kate Perkins, Dr. Olson and Dr Sewall as well as Nikki - who kindly shared her story- and, finally GriffithMedia for putting it all together. The video can be viewed on our web site, under What's New
At the Legislature
 legislationThese are the bills MDAC is following so far this session:  
LD 624 Resolve, to Implement Certain ecommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Expanding Access to Oral Health Care for Maine People.  This bill is the primary focus of MDAC's legislative efforts this session. It will update MaineCare rates to accord with the top recommendation of the 2008 Governor's Task Force on Expanding Access to Oral Health. The bill asks for an increase in reimbursement rates to the 75th percentile of the New England dental fees for 17 dental procedures. Public hearing March 16 1:00PM Rm 209 Cross. Work session will be March 24 at 1:00PM in 209 Cross. Sponsor Representative Meredith Strang Burgess
Status of other bills of interest:
LD 13 An Act To Expand the Diagnostic Functions of Independent Practice Dental Hygienists This bill expands the diagnostic functions of an independent practice dental hygienist by allowing an independent practice dental hygienist to perform x rays and to own x-ray equipment. Committee vote: ought not to pass. March 5 
LD 100 An Act To Improve Oral Health Care for Maine's Children 
This bill expands health screening in schools to include oral health screening. The bill requires oral health screening for students prior to entering kindergarten and for new students to a school district entering grades 1 to 6 and periodically thereafter. The bill coordinates oral health screening done under the new requirement with oral health screening done through a grant program with the Department of Health and Human Services. Next work session Mar 10, 2009, 0900AM, Cross Building Room 202  
LD 177 An Act To Modify the Maine Dental Education Loan Program
  (EMERGENCY) This bill allows the Finance Authority of Maine to make more than 3 loans or loan repayment agreements annually under the Maine Dental Education Loan Program if funds permit. Passed, to be engrossed
LD 233 An Act To Include Independent Practice Dental Hygienists in MaineCare This bill provides for reimbursement under the MaineCare program to directly reimburse dental hygienists practicing independently as authorized under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 32, section 1094-I for all procedures performed under Title 32, section 1094-Q, subsection 1. The bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to adopt rules to implement this provision, and designates the rules as routine technical rules. Ought to Pass Feb 12.
 LD 234 An Act To Expand Access to Oral Health Care
 This bill requires dental insurers and health insurers and health maintenance organizations that include coverage for dental services in their policies and contracts to provide coverage for dental services performed by an independent practice dental hygienist if those services would be covered under the policy or contract and those services are within the lawful scope of practice of the independent practice dental hygienist. Tabled Feb 17.  
Resolve, Directing the Department of Human Services to Extend MaineCare Dental and Oral Health Services.
NO LD # yet. This will amend the rules regarding MaineCare services to allow for a pregnant woman, regardless of age, who is eligible for MaineCare, to receive dental and oral health services during pregnancy and for 60 days following the delivery of the child. 
Maine News
The efforts of Dr William Alto of the Dartmouth Family Residence and Dr Schmidt of the Maine Dental Association to train primary care providers to pull teeth caught  the attention of the New York Times recently. Read on...  
  Save May 8th for Synergies in Comprehensive Patient Care: Integrating Oral Health with Total Health,
a day in Freeport for medical and dental professionals. Check here for details.
National News
Parents and Caregivers are Uninformed about Cavity-Causing Bacteria and Teeth-Friendly SnacksAccording to a recent survey by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) many parents and caregivers are unaware that routine practices, such as providing healthy snacks and sharing utensils, may increase children's risk of developing cavities. The national survey, found that 96% of U.S. adults with children under 12 years old in their household thought a cracker was better for children's teeth than a piece of caramel. Read on ...  
The Role of Physicians in Children's Oral Health
This new state health policy monitor highlights two recent surveys which detail the extent and characteristics of twenty-five state Medicaid programs that reimburse physicians for providing basic preventive oral health care to young children during an office visit. The early and frequent contact that most young children typically have with physicians presents a unique opportunity to evaluate their oral condition and perform basic preventive services.  Read on... 
Increase in Caries in Young Children 
  Percentage of Children Aged 2-4 Years Who Ever Had Caries in Primary Teeth, by Race/Ethnicityand Sex-National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 1988-1994 and 1999-2004MMWR Weekly Volume 58 No. 2: The proportion of young children who ever had dental caries in their primary teeth increased from 18% during 1988--1994 to 24% during 1999--2004, moving away from the Healthy People 2010 target of 11% .
Kids Oral Health Partnership News
If your organization or office would like to receive free training on promoting early oral health, and identifying and addressing oral health problems in children 0-5 yearskohp logo, contact Bonnie Vaughan at or go to the Resources for Providers page at to sign up directly.
For notification of up coming training, contact Bonnie at the above email.
Next Quarterly Meeting: March 13, 2008 
mdac logoin Augusta, at MCD  at 9:00 AM
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 to  to see addressed in this forum, let us know.
The mission of the Maine Dental Access Coalition is to advocate for and improve access to quality preventative  and comprehensive oral health care  for all Maine people.
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