mdac hdr 2

April, 2012 
In This Issue:
Maine DHI
Legislative Update
Periodontal Treatment & Diabetes
Fluoride Varnish as Benefit
MDAC Planning Off and Running
Facebook Page
Sealant Conference
MDAC Quarterly Meeting
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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.
Maine Dental Home Initiative 
DHI logo

Thirty highly engaged participants attended the Dental Home Initiative (DHI) mentorship training last month, and now stand ready to help general dentists include infants and young children into their practices. The event attracted good media attention, including two segments on WABI Channel 5 - a report on the DHI, and an interview with Val Heal, DHI team member, on the importance of baby teeth.


The second phase of the DHI training takes place next month. This training is focused on preparing dental providers who want to learn how to include Head Start children in their practice. This is a free CE seminar, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Man Wai Ng, DDS, MPH, who is Chief of the Department of Dentistry at Children's Hospital and at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Participants will learn how to access the mentor network, learn how to work effectively with MaineCare, and get experience in a  ";hands on"; children's clinic. Join DHI State Leader Dr. John Willis and colleagues:

Friday, May 11 8:30am - 4:00pm

Dental Health Programs, Bangor College Center

201 Texas Avenue, Bangor  


Call Dr Willis at (207) 781-2272 for more information, or email Bonnie Vaughan at  

You may register on-line here.


Legislative Updatelegislation
LD 1114, a Coalition initiated bill carried over from last session (after having been saved from the Governor's veto) lingered in the HHS Committee this year, but ultimately died in Committee. The bill would have given DHHS the ability to look at groups of adult MaineCare recipients who, if provided preventive or restorative care, would avoid later, more expensive, emergency treatment at MaineCare expense. The Committee did ask the Department to investigate this issue further however, which leaves the door ever so slightly open. The research described below supports the idea behind this bill, showing that periodontal treatment can significantly reduce costs for diabetes care.

Budget discussions  continue to unfold at the State House. The Fund for a Healthy Maine remains largely unaltered for FY 2012, but still faces a cut of 29.7 million in FY 2013. Legislators will adjourn, and return in May to make final decisions on the Fund and the DHHS budget. For the most current proposal for cutting the Fund for a Healthy Maine in FY 2013 go here.

There is a continued need for people who care about public health and oral health to contact their legislators and tell them cutting the Fund and removing the limited adult dental benefit from MaineCare is
short sighted, and will cost more in the long term.  Go here to find your Representative and how to contact them.  
";Striking Data Links Periodontal Treatment to Lower Diabetes Costs";

As reported in the March 27th Health Leaders News:
An insurance industry study, touted as the largest of its kind, shows that medical costs can be reduced by more than $1,800 a year for each diabetic patient who receives periodontal care.


The study examined medical records from more than 1.6 million people who were covered by both United Concordia Dental and Highmark Inc. and identified about 90,000 Type 2 diabetics. About 25% of those diabetics elected to receive periodontal treatment in 2007 and the study compared their medical costs over the next three years with the 75% of diabetics in the group who declined the oral care.Click here for the full story.


Maine Businesses Including Fluoride Varnish as Medical Benefit.
FTFT logo There are now 10 employers who cover fluoride varnish as part of their medical benefits, thanks to the educational efforts of From the First Tooth.

Congratulations to these employers who recognize the cost and health benefits of this preventive measure: 


  • Bath Iron Works (as of January 2012)
  • Bowdoin College (as of January 2012)
  • EMHS
  • Jackson Labs
  • Maine Education Association Benefits Trust
  • Maine Municipal Employees Health Benefits Trust (as of January 2012)
  • MaineGeneral
  • MaineHealth
  • Mercy Hospital (as of January 2012)
  • LL Bean (as of January 2012)

Off and Running: MDAC Plans for the Future
The March 16th Quarterly meeting was a lively affair with attendance that stretched the capacity of the room. The group first heard from three speakers representing organizations that have, or could have, some overlap with oral health- but equally important, they each demonstrated creative approaches to their issues that could inform the Coalition as it expands and engages new constituents going forward. The speakers were Kim Gore from America's Edge, Steve Rowe,from The Maine Early Learning Investment Group, and John Kuropchak from United Way of Eastern Maine. Members then went on to approve a revised governance proposal and identify strategic priorities. As a result, the Steering Committee is developing a nominations process for the new Governing Council which will  be communicated with the full membership and in place before the next meeting.
Don't forget to join us, and ";like"; us on Facebook
facebookIt's official, MDAC has a Facebook Community Page. Check it out, click the button and ";like"; us! Write on our wall or send in items you want us to post.


Assuring Quality in School Sealant Program: Best Practices, Quality Assurance, and Program Implementation

Friday, June 1, 2012

8:30 AM -3:30 PM

Maple Hill Farm, Hallowell, Me


This conference is designed for public health hygienists working in schools, their supervising dentists, and community dental clinics working with public health hygienists.  For more information contact Nicole Breton RDH at To register go here. 


MDAC Quarterly Meeting: June 15, 2012


To register contact Dot Seigars at or 622-7566 x 232      

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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Maine Dental Access Coalition | 11 Parkwood Drive | Augusta | ME | 04330