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Oral Health
Section Newsletter
Fall 2010

Chair's Message

Greetings, from your Section chair.

It remains a very active time at the national and state levels in public health, and I encourage you to stay active in APHA and the Oral Health Section. Thanks to our editor, Jay Friedman, for this informative and interesting Newsletter issue.

Annual Meeting: I am looking forward to seeing those of you attending our next Annual Meeting in Denver, Nov. 7-10, 2010. David Cappelli, Kathy Lituri and the Program Planning Committee have developed an engaging and informative program that’s not to be missed. Thanks to David and all who have helped in creating a wonderful scientific program. The program and activities are displayed later in this Newsletter as well as online at the APHA website.

If you haven’t registered yet, please join us! I especially invite you to attend the Knutson and Jong Awards ceremony and Oral Health Section Dinner on Monday night, and the Oral Health Reception and Section Business Meeting (our general Section business meeting for all members) on Tuesday evening. These are great opportunities to meet your fellow Section members and learn more about the Section’s activities.

The Section leadership will also be meeting on Sunday morning; this meeting is open to Section members. The focus is more on the business and planning decisions of the Officers and Section Council.

While at the Annual Meeting, please visit the Oral Health Section booth (or even better, help staff it). New this year is an improved exhibit area for all the APHA Sections. Please help represent us by staffing the booth.

Awards: Two awards will be presented at the Awards Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 8 in Denver. Caswell A. Evans, DDS, MPH, will receive the 2010 John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award in Dental Public Health. Jennifer Sanders (DMD-CWRU 2012) will receive the 2010 Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Pre-Professional Award.

Our congratulations to these outstanding awardees. In-depth coverage of the awards will be published in our next Newsletter.

Elections: Congratulations to our new officers who will begin their terms at the end of the November meeting: Chair-Elect Amos Deinard; Governing Councilor Helene Bednarsh; and Section Councilors Arlene Lester and Scott Tomar. We wish you well in your new roles and look forward to your contributions to the Section and to APHA.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote and to those who agreed to run. We’ll be seeking candidates for the next round of elections soon, so if you are interested in running, please contact me at

Policy: The Section leadership continues to be active in developing and promoting APHA’s policies related to oral health. Amos Deinard, chair of the Oral Health Section Policy Committee, led our effort to submit a proposed policy on fluoride varnish. It will be considered by the Governing Council at this year’s Annual Meeting. We also commented extensively on proposed policies on health literacy and the health care home. Jay Friedman and I wrote a Commentary in the Sept/Oct 2010 issue of Dental Abstracts responding to a critique of APHA’s policy opposing prophylactic removal of third molar teeth. [See Wisdom Tooth below]. We will continue to promote evidence-based policies in the arena of oral health.

Josefine Wolfe, our Student Assembly liaison, has assisted us in making our Jong Student Awards program more visible. She also notes that student members can find information about grants, internships, and dissertation funding at: .

We need you, the members, to be more active in the Oral Health Section! Please get involved in the Section’s activities, whether on a committee or by running for an office. For those who have already served in a leadership capacity, how about reengaging with old friends and colleagues? We welcome your help on the Program Planning Committee, Membership Committee, Awards Committees, Policy Committee, to coordinate and help staff the Section booth at the Annual Meeting, to contribute to the newsletter, and to help manage our website.

We depend on Section volunteers to carry on the bulk of the Section’s business. Feel free to contact me or any member of the Section leadership. APHA, like other associations, has suffered in this economic downturn. Please consider recruiting a member within your professional sphere and/or giving a donation to APHA this year.

This is my last column as Section chair. Oscar Arevalo will be taking the reins as chair at the Tuesday Business Meeting in Denver. I trust you will give Oscar the support he needs to continue to improve the Oral Health Section.

Thank you to everyone who pitched in and participated in Section activities during my tenure as chair. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in Denver!

Welcome New Members

Welcome to the New Oral Health Section Members

Another quarter has come and gone in our 2010 year.  During this time, we would like to welcome our newest members to the Oral Health Section. New members join us from across the country.  Welcome aboard!                                                                                       

                          New Members                            State         

    Scott Irwin, DDS, MPH                AZ            

    Heather L. Porter, BS, CHES        OH          

    Bilal Ahmed, DDS                       DC            

    Karlene Ketola, MHSA                 MI           

    Vipul Singhal, BDS, DMD             IL             

    Catherine Demko, PhD                OH            

    Ann Louise Mallory, DDS              DC           

    Getachew Addlsu Alemayhu         CA             

    Frederick D. Clark, DDS               MD            

    Roger F. Samuel, DDS                 CA          


          Please welcome aboard any of our newest members if you know them!

          It is always a privilege to announce new members to our Oral Health Section,  especially with the broadening of health issues today. We look forward to seeing our new members at our annual 138th conference in Denver, Nov. 6-10. If any current member or new member would like to become involved in our activities, please volunteer!  We are always open to your opinions, your involvement, and sharing of your expertise in our Public Health pursuits.

Sandie Nagel Beebe, RDH, PhD

Chair, APHA Oral Health Membership Committee

OH Sessions at the Annual Meeting in Denver

Get Ready for Denver!

The APHA Annual Meeting will be held from Nov. 6-10, 2010, in Denver, and the Oral Health Section has assembled an exciting and informative program that will address the overall theme, Social Justice: A Public Health Imperative.

Dr. Caswell Evans will moderate a session titled, “Social Justice: Implications for Oral Health that will include Dr. Raymond Gist, president of the American Dental Association, Stephen B. Thomas, PhD, professor of community health & social justice, Graduate School of Public Health University of Pittsburgh.  The panel also includes Adrianne Maddux, Denver Indian Health and Family Services, who will speak from the Native American perspective, and Dr. David Chambers, editor of the Journal of the American College of Dentistry and faculty member at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry.

Dr. Scott Presson organized a session that will look at the “Oral Health Provisions in the Health Care Reform Legislation”, addressing a timely question for the future of dental public health. The panel includes Jack Bresch from the American Dental Education Association, Myron Allukian, representing the American Association of Community Dental Programs, and Tracy Anselmo, Dental Director for the State of Colorado.

“Social Justice in Oral Health: Ensuring Access to Care for People with HIV will describe how social justice can be promoted by increasing access to oral health care for persons living with HIV. This session will share the results from the multi-site evaluation identifying the structural and personal barriers to oral health care that lead to poor dental care utilization, lower literacy about oral hygiene and health, and higher unmet needs. Strategies will be presented for promoting greater access that can reduce the disparity within this population. Helene Bednarsh is the organizer and moderator of this program.

Health disparities and health literacy are key issues when discussing social justice in oral health care. Dr. Ruth Nowjack-Raymer has assembled a panel from the Oral Health Disparities Center Grants to discuss “Theoretical Models in the Oral Health Disparity Centers.” A session titled “Advances in Health Literacy: Current Research and Practice” was organized by Gary Podschun.

As we have come to use ‘report cards’ as a driver for policy, Bev Isman and ASTDD organized a session titled “Oral Health Report Cards: Friend or Foe.” Dr. Alice Horowitz assembled a group of experts to address the issue, “Should Food Stamps be Used to Purchase Soda?”

In addition, there will be more than 75 contributed poster and oral presentations. I encourage everyone to attend our meeting and to participate.

We look forward to seeing you in Denver.

David P. Cappelli, DMD, MPH, PhD

Co-chair [with Kathy Lituri] 2010 Annual Meeting Program Planning  

OH Section Annual Meeting Program


138th Annual Meeting

Nov. 7-10, 2010



The OH Section program is online at:


The Oral Health Section thanks

Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

for its generous support.


Location: All Scientific Sessions sponsored by the Oral Health Section will be held at the Hyatt Regency Denver Hotel, 650 15th St.  Poster Sessions are in the Colorado Convention Center.

Local Arrangements:  Please see Local Arrangements in this newsletter for more detailed information about the Monday night dinner following the Award ceremony.  

Exhibit/OH Booth #1372 ― Colorado Convention Center

Hours: Sun: 2:30-5:30, Mon: 9:30-5:30, Tue: 9:30-5:30, Wed: 8:30-12:30



Sunday, November 7, 2010

8:00-11:30 a.m.

206.0 Oral Health Section Executive Committee Business Meeting I

2:30-5:30 p.m.

260.0 Oral Health Section Executive Committee Business Meeting II

4:30-5:30 p.m. – Poster Sessions

2072.0 Education Models for Health Professionals that Improve Oral Health

2073.0 Expanding Workforce Models and Programs to Improve Oral Health

2074.0 Reducing Risk, Expanding Prevention, and Enhancing Oral Health Promotion

Monday, November 8

10:30-11:30 a.m. – Poster Sessions

3088.0 Improving the Oral Health for Children and Adolescents

3089.0 Oral-Systemic Disease Linkages

3090.0 Oral Health Issues Among Vulnerable Populations

12:30-2:00 p.m.

3234.0 Social Justice in Oral Health: Ensuring Access to Care for People with HIV

2:30-4:00 p.m.

3337.0 Should Food Stamps be used to Purchase Soda?

4:30-6:00 p.m.

3412.0 Oral Health Report Cards: Friend or Foe

6:30-8:00 p.m.

347.0 Oral Health Section Award Ceremony

8:30-10:00 p.m.

Oral Health Section Dinner – Rialto Café (RSVP Required - $52, see Dinner notice in Newsletter)

Tuesday, November 9

8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

4053.0 Addressing Oral Health Disparities to Improve Oral Health Equity for the Underserved

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

4115.0 Social Justice: Implications for Oral Health

2:30-4:00 p.m.

4304.0 Theoretical Models Used in the Oral Health Disparity Centers

4:30-6:00 p.m.

4377.0 Advances in Health Literacy: Current Research and Practice

6:30-7:30 p.m.

428.0 Oral Health Reception

7:30-9:00 p.m.

447.0 Oral Health General Business Meeting

Wednesday, November 10

8:30-10:00 a.m.

5071.0 Cavity Free at Three: An Oral Disease Prevention Program for Infants and Toddlers in Colorado

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

5126.0 Implications of the Oral Health Provisions in Health Care Reform Legislation

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

5178.0 Oral Health Interventions to Improve Access to Dental Care for Children


Oral Health Section Dinner





                                               When, Where & What





When:  Monday, Nov. 8, 2010

Dinner will start around 8:15 p.m., after the Awards Ceremony
Cost: $52 per person, includes food, tax, tip.

Seating is limited to 60.

Please RSVP to Natalie Hagel at or

(617) 636-3968.

If you plan to attend, please make your reservation now by letting Natalie know and sending a check for $52 per person to:

Natalie Hagel, RDH, MS

3 Myrna Street

Burlington, MA   01803


Please respond no later than Oct 25. Make checks out to:

APHA Oral Health Section Enrichment Account #328079


Where:  Rialto Café, 934 16th St., Downtown Denver


Buffet style Dinner Menu:

Salad: Mixed Greens with Mandarin Oranges, Goat Cheese, Slivered Almonds with Herb Vinaigrette


A. Beef Tenderloin Medallions with Rosemary Demi Glace

B. Pan roasted Salmon with Fresh Cucumber Tomato Relish

(Served with Herb Roasted Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables)

C. Vegetarian Option separate plate ― Pasta Primavera or

    Harvest Ravioli


Dessert: Lemon Cream Torte


Drinks: Coffee,Tea, Iced Tea, Soft Drink included

           (other drinks may be purchased; bottles of wine are 

            1/2 price Mondays)


Visit Our Section Booth at Annual Meeting

From November 6-10, 2010, join us in Denver for the APHA 138th Annual Meeting and Exposition. More than 1,000 cutting edge scientific sessions will be presented by public health researchers, academicians, policy-makers and practitioners on the most current public health issues facing the nation today. For more information about the Annual Meeting, visit

Our section will have a strong presence at the meeting. View the sessions sponsored by our section by visiting the interactive Online Program. Search the program using keyword, author name or date. Don’t forget to stop by our new booth in the Section and SPIG pavilion (booth 1370)  in the Public Health Expo next to Everything APHA.”


Volunteers Needed to Staff Booth

Dear Oral Health Section Members:

We’re look forward to seeing you at the upcoming APHA Annual Meeting in Denver.

And on that note, it's time again to start the booth staffing process. Please consider taking a shift or two. Get a friend to join you! APHA has upgraded the exhibit space for the APHA Sections and located us in a more prominent area. Help represent us in our new, improved booth space.

It’s easy ― just select a time slot or slots from the list below and E-mail your selection to me at: “Josefine Wolfe” <>


The time slots <      > are structured in a manner that is conducive to the Oral Health Section program schedule.


Sunday, Nov. 7                    Booth #1372

<12:00-2:30 p.m.> (Set-up the booth)

 <2:30-4:00> (Open the Booth)


Monday, Nov. 8                  Booth #1372






Tuesday, Nov. 9                  Booth #1372






Wednesday, Nov. 10            Booth #1372


<10:45-12:30> (Close the booth)


Josefine Wolfe

Oral Health Section Student Assembly Liaison

2010 OH Section Booth Coordinator

Editorial - Light at the End of the Tunnel

Granted, I have virtually no direct exposure to and limited knowledge of what is actually taught in American dental schools, although I doubt it has changed much in the last half century. To be sure, there have been advances in technology: from two-dimensional to three dimensional dental radiography; from silicates to composites; from prophylactic odontotomy to sealants; from cast gold to PFM and computer-milled ceramic crowns; from fixed bridges to implants; from out-of-pocket fee-for-service to insurance and capitation. Impressive and proud accomplishments, indeed.

But 21st Century dentistry differs little from 20th Century dentistry in that it is still limited to two essential diseases and their consequences (dental caries and periodontal disease), and cosmetics (orthodontics and “cosmetics”). The 21st Century dental graduates are hardly distinguishable from the 20th Century dental graduates, except that they are more conditioned to limited practice by the deficiencies in their training as a consequence of overspecialization. The basic nature of dental practice has hardly changed, and the role model is still the solo practitioner in his or her little cottage, with one or two assistants and a part-time dental hygienist.

What brings this to mind was a conversation with a recent graduate and an experienced periodontist, neither of whom had heard of the New Zealand dental nurse, much less the dental therapist. What this illustrates is the insularity of dental education, the ignoring and/or ignorance of dental educators, and the isolation of dentists once out of school. How is it possible, with the increasing controversy in organized dentistry since the introduction of dental therapists in Alaska in 2005 and the many articles in professional journals and newspapers, that dentists are still graduating and practicing oblivious to dental therapists and their implication for the future development of our profession? Is it possible that recognition of dental therapists might lead to the conclusion that drilling and filling a tooth is not necessarily a doctoral level activity; and that transfer of this function to dental therapists might allow a more complete education and training of dentists in areas that are increasingly delegated to limited practitioners, e.g., specialists? Who knows ― perhaps in the future dental schools, relieved of training in restorative dentistry by delegation to dental therapists, might produce a more compleat dentist, a true oral physician.

Jay W. Friedman


Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Perspective

In the Jan-Feb issue of  Dental Abstracts, Thomas B. Dodson, an oral surgeon and member of the APHA Oral Health Section, misrepresented our APHA Policy: Opposition to Prophylactic Removal of Third Molars (Wisdom Teeth). He wrote, “This proposal treated all wisdom tooth extractions as unnecessary….”

Jay W Friedman and Scott M. Presson responded in the Sept-Oct issue that “The APHA policy clearly states, ‘No one questions the removal of third molars, or any other tooth, where there is evidence of pathological changes such as infections, nonrestorable carious lesions, cysts, tumors and damage to adjacent teeth.’ By this measure, at most only one-third of wisdom tooth extractions can be justified.”

Dr. Dodson also urged the American Dental Association and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons “to refocus the rhetoric responsibly on the evidence….” Presson and Friedman replied, “We can all agree on this assuming he means that the discussion should be about facts and not assertions that exaggerate the benefits of prophylactic extraction while minimizing risks of iatrogenic injury.”

For the complete perspective on wisdom tooth extraction by Friedman and Presson, Click here.

ADA Supports Medicaid for Low-income Americans

Letter to Editor, Washington Post, Aug. 8, 2010

Health reform's dental care gap

As a dentist, I am proud of the care that my colleagues provided the needy at a free clinic in Wise, Va., through the Knoxville-based medical relief group Remote Area Medical [" 'Each tooth has a story,' " Health, Aug. 3. See reference below.] Dentists hold hundreds of similar events each year throughout the country. But what about the many thousands of other people who aren't able to travel and stand in line for care?

Children who seek care at volunteer events such as the one described by The Post are eligible for care through Medicaid. However, most states woefully underfund their dental programs, and most adults are not covered by them at all.

The primary reason the American Dental Association did not support the new health care reform law was that it did not ensure that low-income Americans had access to dental care via Medicaid. Congress must address this problem or, shamefully, there will be many more opportunities for The Post to report on events like the one in Wise.

Ronald Tankersley, Newport News

The writer is president of the American Dental Association.

 Most patients seek dental care at free clinic in Appalachia

From The Washington Post, Aug. 3, 2010

“This was the 11th year for the free Wise clinic, by the Knoxville-based medical relief organization known as Remote Area Medical. RAM specializes in getting care to isolated, impoverished and ravaged places…. But this year as usual, the majority of the 2,347 patients who came to the clinic in Wise, who slept in tents and in trucks and who lined up at dawn each morning, wanted to see a dentist.”

For the complete story in the Washington Post, click on

Editorial, too - Indentured Service

The Michigan Access to Oral Health Care Work Group Final Report and Recommendations (August 2010) has a section on “Promising Practices” to provide dental care to low income, uninsured patients. Dentists in the Calhoun County Community Dental Access Initiative (CDAI) “who agree to see four or more [low-income, uninsured] patients a month receive a $1,000 bonus upon signing a letter of commitment, as well as a $1,000 annual resource fund that can be used for practice enhancements, office and dental equipment, staff training, and other materials and activities.” In return, patients are required  “to complete four hours of volunteer service for every $100 of treatment value” provided by dentists.

Granted, poor people have lots of time on their hands — no responsibilities, no kids to care for, little to do but look for opportunities to volunteer work. Assume the average poor family has the same needs as the average family, which spends about $800 annually on dental care. At that rate, each poor family would have to spend 32 hours of volunteer work, to compensate for their “free” dental care. Heaven forbid that an eight year old child might require four stainless steel crowns @150 = $600 = 24 hours of volunteer service. Can’t you just see the kid picking up trash alongside the highway?

Notwithstanding its good intentions and fully recognizing that such programs help some individuals, the oral health needs of the under-served population cannot be met by volunteer dentists or paid for by indentured volunteer service. They may be a sop to one’s conscience, but they are not a solution to the problem.


To access the complete report titled “A United Voice for Oral Health,” go to:

Items of Interest

CDC Releases 2008 Water Fluoridation Statistics

CDC has released the latest statistics on community water fluoridation for the nation on its Web site ( ). The latest data show that in 2008, 72.4 percent of the U.S. population on public water systems, or a total of 195.5 million people, had access to optimally fluoridated water. This is an increase from 2006, when 69.2 percent of the U.S. population on public water systems, or 180 million people, received fluoridated water. Twenty-seven states plus the District of Columbia have achieved the Healthy People 2010 objective of having 75 percent of their population on public water systems receive fluoridated water.  With these most recent statistics, two additional states, Delaware and Oklahoma, have achieved the Healthy People objective.

Community water fluoridation prevents decay in children and adults throughout the lifespan.  A review by The Task Force on Community Preventive Services (2001) reported that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by 30-50 percent in children and adolescents. A study published in the Journal of Dental Research (2007) found that fluoridation prevents about 27 percent of cavities in adults.

For more information about fluoridation, visit the CDC website at

The Wide Reach of the Tobacco Industry

In case you missed it, the July 2010 issue of AJPH has three articles that are more than a damning indictment of Big Tobacco. They are a revelation of the insidious power of predatory corporate capitalism that places profit before public health, corrupts politicians, and addicts the public: from smoking to fast foods and sugared drinks to high-powered autos ― killers all.

See the Government, Politics, and Law Section of the Journal at:

Fee-for Service Remuneration Risks Over-treatment

This cautious study revealed a disparity between dental treatment needs as diagnosed by salaried dentists who provided no actual treatment and the actual treatment provided by dentists on a fee-for-service basis; “patients with low treatment needs (the majority of the patients) received more extractions and restorative and endodontic treatments from fee-for-service dentists than recommended by salaried dentists, while patients with high treatment needs received fewer treatments than recommended.” Assuming that the salaried diagnosing dentists had no incentive to under-diagnosis treatment needs, the inference is that patients presenting to dentists are at risk of being overtreated in order to assure a minimum income per patient; whereas those with higher needs are less at risk of over-treatment because sufficient fees can be generated that are closer to real need.

Click here for: Naegele ER, Cunha-Cruz J, Nadanovsky P. Disparity between Dental Needs and Dental Treatment Provided. J Dent Research. 2010;89(9):975-979.


Excerpts from Spring 2010 APHA Medical Care Section Newsletter

Health Affairs Special Issue on Primary Care

Larry Casalino from Cornell University said that substantial restructuring is the only way the nation can provide enough primary care services to accommodate the new insured population. He believes only one third of current appointments require in-person face to face care. He suggested that other patient visits could be supplanted by communication via e-mail, telephone, or dealings with other office staff; and that medical offices encourage providers to communicate this way….     

Troyen Brennan of CVS Caremark reported that retail clinics are now accredited by the Joint Commission on Organization of Hospitals. They employ only Board Certified nurse practitioners.  He estimates there will be a deficit of 40,000 primary care physicians by the year 2020. He said currently 50 percent of children and 60 percent of adults have no primary care physician. Retail clinics seek to coordinate with the primary care doctors for each patient….

Parental Consent An Obstacle

Washington State school caries-prevention program unsuccessful

By Laird Harrison, Senior Editor,

“An effort to reduce cavities by applying fluoride varnish and sealants in Pierce County, WA, schoolchildren failed, the county health department reported this month.

“While those children who got sealants had less tooth decay, most didn't get sealants because of difficulties in securing parental consent, according to the report by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. Migration of families and the recession may have confounded the results, the report stated…. But the larger problem seems to have been that only 18 percent of the eligible second-graders got sealants."

For the complete story, click on:⊂=hyg&pag=dis&ItemID=304864


Quality of Dental Care Programs -  An Annotated Bibliography (1965)

Interested in the early history of dental care programs and quality assessment recently uncovered by the author [your editor]? Then you should get a copy of this concise report (92 citations summarized).

I.        Evaluation of the quality of Dental Care Programs

II.     Dental Service Corporations

III.   Methods of Financing Dental Care

IV.   Group Practice (Open and Closed Panels)

V.      General Background Information

Request copy from:


Alice's Wonderland

Maryland’s School of Public Health Accredited

The School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park, is pleased to announce it has received accreditation for a five-year term, until July 1, 2015, from the Board of Councilors of the Council on Education for Public Health, making it the only accredited School of Public Health at a public university in the Washington Metropolitan region.

The five-year span is the longest term the School of Public Health could have achieved as a first-time applicant. Accreditation is granted to programs successfully preparing students for entry into a recognized profession. Having formed just three years ago, the achievement recognizes a rapid progression toward the School’s mission to advance the state of health in Maryland, and to train a new core of public health professionals.

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and certain public health programs offered in settings other than school of public health. The School of Public Health was required to prepare a self-study in preparation of the accreditation process, and it is available here: Watch a video announcement by Dean Robert S. Gold at the school’s blog,The Health Turtle, at


Georgia Dental Asssociation White Paper on New Zealand's Oral Health Strategy

GDA’s White Paper Misrepresents New Zealand Oral Health Report and the Achievements of Dental Therapists*

The Georgia Dental Association’s White Paper: Oral Health Status, Access to and Utilization of Oral Health Care Services states that New Zealand’s “strategy [employment of mid-level practitioners, aka Dental Therapists] has not solved access to dental care or improved the oral health of its citizens.”(1)  Quite the contrary, the New Zealand dental therapist program provided access to dental care for over 95 percent of the school-aged population and reduced permanent tooth loss to virtually zero, which has been well documented.(2) If this strategy was not successful in improving access and oral health, New Zealand would not continue to support this innovative oral health practitioner.

Rather than stand on its laurels, the 2006 NZ Oral Health report describes the need to improve access to care, especially for those segments of its population which traditionally experience the worst oral and general health. It points out that “Dramatic declines in the prevalence and severity of child dental decay began to plateau in the mid-1990s, and have now begun to reverse.”(3) This is most evident among the lower socioeconomic layers of society such as the Māori and Pacific peoples. Also, there has always been a discontinuity of care from the school-based service to the adolescent service which covers children aged 13-18 in private dental offices.

As a consequence of these social, economic and cultural factors, the NZ Health Department is restructuring health services in a variety of ways, with emphasis on community health centers that will provide more seamless continuity from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. Far from diminishing the remarkable accomplishments of dental therapists, their role in providing oral health care to the NZ population is being expanded. As the NZ report states, “Dental therapists will continue to be the core clinical workforce in community oral health services, and in other services providing oral health care to children up to the age of 18. Opportunities for dental therapists and hygienists in hospital dental services should also be explored. Both dental therapists and hygienists have the potential to make a valuable contribution to care for individuals with special needs, or who are medically compromised.”  

We urge the Georgia Dental Association to read the complete New Zealand Ministry of Health report and then to correct its misrepresentation of New Zealand’s extraordinary oral health care program.


(1)    Georgia Dental Association. White Paper: Oral Health Status, Access to and Utilization of Oral Health Care Services. [Request copy from]

(2) Nash DA, Friedman JW, Kardos TB, Kardos RL, Schwarz E, Satur J, Berg DG, Nasruddin J, Mumghamba EG, Davenport ES, Nagel R. Dental therapists: a global perspective. Int D. J. 2008;58:61-70.

(3) New Zealand Ministry of Health. Good Oral Health for All, for Life: The Strategic Vision for Oral Health in New Zealand. Wellington, NZ:Ministry of Health, 2006.

     Available at: Accessed Aug. 17, 2010. unid/229C4904287A71EDCC2571D3007BE4BE?Open


*Posted on, August 18, 2010, by          Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH.   

Howard Pollick Honored (Again)

ADA News June 11, 2010

States, communities [& Dr. Howard Pollick] receive fluoridation honors at National Oral Health Conference

St. Louis—Marking 65 years of community water fluoridation in the United States, the ADA, the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention honored more than 100 states and communities with 2009 Fluoridation Awards at the National Oral Health Conference on April 27.

Fifteen communities were recognized with Community Fluoridation Initiative Awards for passing water fluoridation initiatives during the past year: Seward, Alaska; Fellsmere, Fla.; Big Canoe, Ga.; Greensburg, Ind.; Walker, La.; North East, Md.; Dexter, Mich,; Kossuth Water Association, Fisher Ferry Water System and Alcorn State University, Miss.; Cobleskill, N.Y.; Cape Fear, N.C.; Stigler, Okla.; Sequin, Texas; and Poynette, Wis.

Another 25 communities received Fluoridation Reaffirmation Awards for defeating initiatives to discontinue fluoridation or approving initiatives to maintain fluoridation, including: Crescent City and Helix Water District, Calif.; Durango and Project 7 Water Treatment Plant, Colo.; Gainesville, Deland and Port Orange, Fla.; Sandpoint, Idaho; Vinton City, Iowa; Crowley, La.; Island Falls, Maine; Athol, Mass.; St. Roberts, Mo.; Plattsburg, N.Y.; Broad River Water Authority, N.C.; Pawhuska, Okla.; Pottstown, Pa.; Selmer, Shelbyville City and Union City, Tenn.; Newbury, Vt.; Timberville and Staunton, Va; Pasco, Wash.; and Clarksburg, W.Va.

California received a State Fluoridation Initiative Award for having the greatest increase in population receiving fluoridated water.

Alabama, Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts and North Dakota received State Fluoridation Quality Awards for maintaining the quality of fluoridation and optimal fluoride levels.

More than 70 water systems received Fifty Year Awards for achieving 50 years of continuous water fluoridation during the past calendar year. A complete list of recipients is available on the ADA Dental Society Services website.

Dr. Howard F. Pollick, a consultant to the National Fluoridation Advisory Committee and an ADA spokesperson on fluoridation, was honored with the Fluoridation Merit Award. Dr. Pollick, clinical professor in the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences at the University of California San Francisco, has worked at the local, state, national and international level with a variety of organizations to promote water fluoridation.



Allukian Lifetime Achievement Award to Ron Nagle

Ron Nagel DDS MPH received the Myron Allukian Jr. 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association for Community Dental Programs (AACDP) for outstanding achievements in community dental programs, at their national meeting on April 25, 2010 in St. Louis .*

Dr. Chris Halliday, Chief Dental Officer, U.S .Public Health Service and Director of the Indian Health Service Dental Program,

Drs. Chris Halliday, Ron Nagle & Myron Allukian, Jr.
described Dr. Nagel’s dedication and compassion for promoting oral health and better dental access for American Indians and Alaska Natives in the twenty-two years that Dr. Nagel worked for the Indian Health Service.

Dr. Nagel initiated the Alaska dental health therapist program and helped make it a reality in our country. Dr. Nagel was noted for his high standards of integrity and being the ultimate health professional in working to improve access to a population that had 2 ½ times more oral disease than the national average, in a rural area of 600,000 square miles where there are no roads, no electricity, no running water and no dentists. Dr. Nagel was noted for his quiet, low key professional approach for trying to obtain dental services for this neglected population, despite intense opposition by organized dentistry on the state and national level.

Dr. Nagel received his DDS from Emory University and MPH from Burns School of Medicine and did an Advanced General Practice Residency with the Indian Health Service. Since the implementation of the dental therapist program in Alaska, Minnesota became the first state to pass legislation for dental therapists and it has changed the national debate on the dental workforce.

The American Association for Community Dental Programs is a national organization that represents community dental programs in city and country health departments as well as community based oral health programs. There are over 2900 city and county health departments in United States.

*News Release adapted from The Bellwether, Newsletter of the American Association for Community Dental Programs, Issue No. 5, July 2010.


Dr. Jane Weintraub – 2010 Recipient of Ross Award for Excellence in Research

“….Dr. Weintraub's research, which includes studies on the use of fluoride varnish on young children, has helped serve as the basis for scientific guidelines regarding fluoride and has become a part of mainstream dental and public health practices.

“For these and her other contributions to advance the science for public health programs and dental practice, she is the 2010 recipient of the Norton M. Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research….

“A past president of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and a prior at-large board member of the AADR, Dr. Weintraub is also responsible for teaching research methods to the dental and graduate students and also leads a series of dental public health seminars that are available to residents across the country. She enjoys mentoring students and is impressed by the enthusiasm she sees for public health in the next generation of dentists and researchers.

"I think they're interested in giving back to communities, not only here in the U.S. but globally," she said. "I really see a shift in perception and I’m pleased at that…."

For the full announcement in ADA News Aug. 2, 2010, click on:

National Coalition Consensus Conference: Oral Health of Vulnerable Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities

Dental, medical and public health experts will gather in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 18, 2010 for the National Coalition Consensus Conference:  Oral Health of Vulnerable Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities. More than 79 million Americans will reach age 65 over the next 18 years, presenting health care professionals with an unprecedented challenge. The objective of the conference is to draft recommendations that will help meet the rapidly growing and more complex oral health needs of this population. They keynote speaker is Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information and to register, visit


Contributed by Gary D. Podschun ( 
Manager, Community Outreach and Cultural Competence
Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations.

JPHD Special Issue on Workforce Innovations

A special issue of JPHD, Improving Oral Health Care Delivery Systems Through Workforce Innovations, is now available online!   To access the special issue click here:

 “The purpose of the special issue is to further develop ideas presented at the 2009 Institute of Medicine (IOM) workshop, The Sufficiency of the U.S. Oral Health Workforce in the Coming Decade. Using the IOM discussions as their starting point, the authors evaluate oral health care delivery system performance for specific populations’ needs and explore the roles that the workforce can play in improving the care delivery model. The contributing articles provide a broad framework for stimulating and evaluating innovation and change in the oral health care delivery system. The articles in this special issue point to many deficits in the current oral health care delivery system and provide compelling arguments and proposals for improvements.”

 –Elizabeth A. Mertz and Len Finocchio

For the IOM report from the 2009 workshop, see also:

For current IOM activities on Oral Health, see:

Editor’s Rx: Don’t miss the last paper, Envisioning success: the future of the oral health care delivery system, by Raul I. Garcia, Ronald E. Inge, Linda Niessen and Dominick P. DePaola. It is a good summary of the Special Supplement. Throughout are well reasoned statements about the various issues: deficiencies in dental education; deficiencies in payment mechanisms; roles of dentists and hygienists; politics of policies and state practice acts that inhibit change and restrict access. It is the only paper that singles out the strength of the DT over the other proposed alternatives:

“The Dental Therapist Model has the strongest evidence for success, having been evaluated on numerous occasions over the past 5 decades and in multiple countries. It has been shown to be effective in bringing safe, high-quality oral health care to underserved communities, and is likely the most cost-effective model, in part given its limited, post-high school education requirements.”

Finally - A Kindly Request for Newsletter Contributions

Editing the OH Section Newsletter is akin to voluntary servitude, even if one was volunteered by others.

As a kindness to your editor, you are kindly invited, indeed, you are admonished, to submit articles, guest editorials,  and sundry items of interest for all forthcoming issues. Pronto!

Kindly yours,

the editor