mdac hdr 2October 2010

In This Issue
Dental Bond Campaign Launches
Outreach Program in Washington County
Caring Hands of Maine
Sealants Still Make Sense
Periodontal Therapy May Reduce the Risk of Preterm Birth
Periodontitis rates underestimated by 50%.
Kids Oral Health Partnership
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Word of Mouth
Dear Sarah,

Word of Mouth is the newsletter of the Maine Dental Access Coalition. We welcome your comments and invite your ideas for content.
Dental Care for ME: Vote for Dental Bond (press conference date correction)
The Dental Care for ME coalition will have its kick-off press conference in support of the dental bond on October 5th at 12:30 at  Penobscot Community Health Center, 1048 Union St, Bangor,  not the 6th as reported in the last WOM edition. The coalition has formed to urge passage of the $5 million bond for training dentists and expanding clinics. Talking points, materials for distribution and other ways you can help can be found at the Dental Care for ME website
Dental Outreach Program in Washington County
Teresa Alley and friends in the Tooth Ferry Van.
Teresa Ally in Tooth Ferry
The Washington County Children's Program is bringing free dental and oral health care services to families in Maine, particularly to schoolchildren who otherwise would have no access to care. For a full week this month, the "Tooth Ferry" mobile dental lab will be parked in downtown Machias to provide oral health care education, screening and treatment at no cost for area residents. WCCP has partnered with the New York University College of Dentistry for the services, and NYU faculty and students have agreed to return to the area twice a year for the next two years. The next visit will be in April 2011.
The program will provide comprehensive dental care, including examinations, cleanings, fluoride varnish applications, sealants, fillings and extractions, for children and adults who do not have access to dental services.
The clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 8 and 9, at the Lee Pellon Event Center behind the Subway complex on U.S. Route 1.
For more information, call Teresa Alley at 255-3426 or read the complete article from the Bangor Daily News.
Caring Hands of Maine Provides Free Care
Dr Oh (l), staff and volunteers.
Caring Hands Staff
Caring Hands of Maine Dental Center in Ellsworth, a newly opened non-profit dental clinic, hosted the first annual "Back to School Smiles Day" on Saturday, September 18th. Free dental care was provided to area children and their families. Oral health problems are a leading cause of missed school days across the country, and tooth decay is the most common chronic health problem in children. 8 volunteers from 3 area dental practices and the University College of Bangor Dental program were on hand to help with the effort. Approximately 30 patients were treated. Many of these patients were from the Ellsworth area, but families from the Bangor area, MDI, and Washington county also participated.
Dr. Timothy Oh, The Center's director, has practiced in area non-profit clinics for the past two years. "There are several dental-related challenges facing residents in Maine. Many areas of the state have a shortage of dentists, and there is an even harder time finding providers who accept MaineCare members" said Dr. Oh,  "We started the clinic to address these challenges and also to serve as a teaching facility to encourage people to start their careers in rural areas."
The center's primary mission is to improve the oral health of children and adolescents, but adults are seen as well.
The Dental Center accepts MaineCare and other dental plans and offers reduced fees for private pay families. Besides providing care at their location on Kingsland Crossing, the program also is involved in outreach projects, bringing portable dental equipment to remote areas without dental coverage such as the Mill Pond Health Center on Swan's Island. Caring Hands of Maine Dental Center is also a co-sponsor for the dental outreach project described above.
Sealants Still Make Sense 
A study reports that minute levels of the chemical BPA are released from the application of dental sealants, but the findings reassure parents that sealants still make good sense.  "People shouldn't be scared by this," says one of the study's co-authors, who adds that the "extremely low levels" of BPA can be wiped or rinsed off a child's mouth.  According to the American Dental Association, the one-time exposure to BPA from sealants is approximately 200 times lower than the level considered of concern to the Environmental Protection Agency.  Every medical or dental procedure involves risks and benefits.  But none of the findings of this study should deter parents from having sealants applied to their children's teeth.  Click here for more details.  
Successful Periodontal Therapy May Reduce the Risk of Preterm Birth
An article in Science Daily reports on a study published in the journal BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics that points to possible link between the success of gum-disease treatment and the likelihood of giving birth prematurely.
"First and foremost, this study shows that pregnant women can receive periodontal treatment safely in order to improve their oral health," said Marjorie Jeffcoat, professor of periodontics at Penn Dental Medicine and lead author of the paper. "Second, in a high risk group of pregnant women, such as those patients who participated in this study, successful periodontal treatment when rendered as an adjunct to conventional obstetric care may reduce the incidence of preterm birth." 
U.S. periodontitis rates underestimated by 50%
The number of adults in the U.S. suffering from periodontal disease appears to be significantly higher than previous research has indicated, according to a study published online in the Journal of Dental Research. "This study shows that periodontal disease is a bigger problem than we all thought. It is a call to action for anyone who cares about his or her oral health," said Samuel Low, D.D.S., M.S., associate dean and professor of periodontology at the University of Florida College of Dentistry and president of the AAP, in a press release. "Given what we know about the relationship between gum disease and other diseases, taking care of your oral health isn't just about a pretty smile. It has bigger implications for overall health, and is therefore a more significant public health problem." Read the full article in Dr BiCuspid here. 
Kids Oral Health Partnership 
kohp logo plain If you are a medical provider, or a childcare/family services provider, and would like free training on oral health assessement, paretnal guidance and disease prevention, contact Bonnie Vaughan RDH at 622-7566 x 216 or
The Maine Dental Access Coalition (MDAC) is a public-private partnership focused on improving access to oral care. The Coalition's mission is "To advocate for and improve access to quality preventive and comprehensive oral health care for all Maine residents."
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