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Oral Health
Section Newsletter
Winter 2011

Chair's Message

Hello to the Oral Health Section!

As the incoming chair of the Oral Health Section, I am looking forward to leading the Section in this time of change. I would like to welcome and recognize our new Section Leadership Team members who continue their terms or began their terms at the end of the November 2010 meeting in Denver. A big thank you is due the outgoing officers as well as those who helped on committees, such as Membership, Awards and the Newsletter. Thanks to outgoing Section Councilors Lynn Bethel and David Cappelli, Governing Councilor Amos Deinard, and Immediate Past Chair Howard Pollick. Thanks also to Newsletter Editor Jay Friedman, Membership Committee Chair Sandie Beebe, and Webmaster Gina Thornton-Evans for their service. A special thank you to Scott Presson for his outstanding service as Section chair. A big thanks is also due to Natalie Hagel for her dedication as secretary. While APHA does much to support our activities, much of the Section’s success is due to the volunteer efforts of our membership.

I am confident that all who attended felt the Annual Meeting in Denver was outstanding! There is more information in this Newsletter on the meeting, the awards received, and the oral health policy we guided through for approval on fluoride varnish. A great job was done by Program Planning Committee Chair David Cappelli, Co-Chair Kathy Lituri, and booth coordinator, Josefine Wolfe, Continuing Education by Gary Podshun, and everyone else who organized the outstanding invited sessions, helped with the awards ceremony, the business meetings, the booth, the new policies, and served as moderators.

The oral sessions and posters were very high caliber, and we thank the authors and presenters for making the program stimulating and informative. The oral sessions covered a wide range of topics, including oral health report cards, social justice in access to care for people with HIV, food stamps in the purchase of soda, social justice and oral health, theoretical models used in the Oral Health Disparity Centers, oral health provisions in health care reform legislation, prevention programs in Colorado, advances in health literacy, and improving access.

Congratulations to Jennifer Sanders for receiving the Anthony Jong Pre-Professional Award, and to Cas Evans for receiving the John Knutson Award. The Section dinner that followed at Rialto Cafe was a memorable evening for all. Thank you also to our sponsors whose generosity allowed us to hold our awards ceremonies: Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Omni, a 3M ESPE company.

Our next Annual Meeting will be in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2011. Kathy Lituri is heading up the Program Planning Committee, and I am confident we will have another outstanding scientific program. I hope you have submitted an abstract. Make plans now to join us in Washington!

With the changes in Congress, I am sure many of you are closely watching the appropriations process. It will be difficult to sustain the gains we have made in recent years and to secure funding for the oral health programs in the Affordable Care Act. APHA continues to enhance their advocacy activities, while attempting to be more strategic. You can receive APHA Legislative Alerts by e-mail for selected issues by signing up on the APHA website. I hope you take a few minutes to use the APHA system to write e-mail letters to your senators and representative. You can start with the suggested letter or the letters, which are easily customized as desired, e.g., to include an oral health aspect. We need your voice for public health and oral health! See

For those of you new to the Oral health Section, we welcome your involvement in the Section’s activities, whether on a committee or by running for an office. And for those who have already been through a leadership experience, give some thought to getting involved again. Feel free to contact me or any member of the Section leadership.

Following is our leadership roster for the 2010-2011 year.

Best wishes for a wonderful, successful 2011.

Oscar Arevalo

APHA Oral Health Section Leadership Roster

Officers, Councilors & Committees

November 2010-November 2011


Chair, (2010-2012)

Oscar Arevalo, DDS, ScD, MBA, MS

Phone: (267) 738-2600



Chair Elect, (2010-2012)

Amos S. Deinard, MD, MPH

Phone: (612) 377-1020



Immediate-Past Chair, (2010-2012)

Scott M. Presson, DDS, MPH

Phone:  (678) 778-4847



Secretary, (2009-2012)

Natalie Hagel, RDH, MS

Phone: (617) 636-3968



Section Councilors:

Sandra Nagel Beebe, RDH, PhD, (2008-2011)
Phone: (618) 453-7202

Giusy Romano-Clarke, MD, (2008-2011)

Phone: (617) 288-3230



Gina Thornton-Evans, DDS, MPH, (2009-2012)

Phone: (770) 488-5503



Kathy M. Lituri, RDH, MPH (2009-2012)

Phone: (617) 638-5202



Arlene Lester, DDS, MPH, (2010-2013

Phone: (404) 562-7905



Scott Tomar, DMD, DrPH, (2010-2013)

Phone: (352) 273-5968



Governing Councilors:


Woosung Sohn, DDS, PhD, DrPH, (2009-2011)

Phone: (734) 615-6622



Helene Bednarsh BS, RHD, MPH, (2010-2012)

Phone: (617) 534-2344



Newsletter Editor: Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH

Phone: (310) 838-8157



Website Editor: Gina Thornton-Evans, DDS, MPH

Phone: (770) 488-5503



Program Planning Chair: Kathy M. Lituri, RDH, MPH

Phone: (617) 638-5202



Exhibit Booth Coordinator: Josefine Wolfe, RDH

Phone: (210) 287-8826



APHA Action Board, OH Section Representative: Lynn A. Bethel RDH, BSDH, MPH

Phone: (617) 624-6074




Knutson Award, Chair: Jane Steffensen, MPH, CHES

Phone: (210) 567-5567



Jong Award, Chair: Wanda Wright, RN, DDS, MS, MSD

Phone: (617) 636-3646

E-mail:  Wanda.


Membership Committee: Sandra Nagel Beebe, RDH, PhD

Phone: (618) 453-7202



Policy Committee: Amos S. Deinard, MD, MPH

Phone: (612) 377-1020



Policy Promotion Committee: Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH

Phone: (310) 838-8157



Nominations Committee: Scott M. Presson, DDS, MPH

Phone:  (678) 778-4847



APHA Student Assembly Liaison: Josefine Wolfe, RDH

Phone: (210) 287-8826


Welcome to New Oral Health Section Members

The final 2010 quarter, October through December, has come and gone. We are now into an exciting new year! At this time, we would like to introduce the newest members of our Section from across the country.


                        New Member                                            State

                   Mary E. Northridge, PhD, MPH                         NY

                   Terry Batliner, DDS, MBA                                CO

                   Henrietta L. Logan, PhD                                  FL

                   Wafa Diab Bayyari, PhD                                  AR

                   Ralph Fuccillo, MA                                          MA

                   Jennifer Sanders, BSc                                     OH

                   Terri Pacheco, BS                                            HI

                   Evelyn Ora Lucas-Perry, DDS, MPH                   MI

                   Hiroko Lida, DDS, MPH                                    NC

                   Grace Gomez, MPH                                         MI

                   India R. Chance, BS                                        MD


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

It is always an honor to have new members join our Oral Health Section, especially with the broadening of health issues today. We look forward to seeing you all at the 139th APHA Annual Meeting in 2011 in Washington, D.C., Oct. 29 - Nov. 2, 2011 featuring Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds & Bodies.

All members are encouraged to become involved in our activities. Your opinions, your involvement, and your expertise are essential to advance our Public Oral Health pursuits.

Sandie Nagel Beebe, RDH, PhD

APHA Oral Health Membership Chair


Phone: (618) 453-7202


Editorial: Inspiring Social Justice

Inspiring Social Justice

There is no shortage of money. It's a matter of priorities. We've got enough money to support over 700 military bases around the world and fight two "preemptive" wars, while short changing our infrastructure and schools and health services and failing to provide universal health care. We feed an enormous military-industrial complex with subsidies and tax breaks that reduce revenue needed for public services. Our police departments, fire departments, public education and public health programs are being starved while corporations and those already rich get richer. The “invisible hand” intended to distribute wealth more equitably through the incentive of profit competition has turned into an iron fist of privileged greed. Reversing this indecency requires transparency and programs to do good.  

The social conscience and the political will to support social service, social welfare, social decency ― social justice ― are the bedrock of the American Public Health Association. This was the theme of the 2010 APHA Annual Meeting and the inspiration not only for those of us privileged to attend, but for all members. Good for APHA. Good for the USA.


Cas Evans Receives 2010 John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award



2010 John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award

 In Dental Public Health

Caswell A. Evans, DDS, MPH

Presented During the 138th APHA Annual Meeting in Denver November 8, 2010


Ceremony Program

Presider:  Larry Hill, 2010 Chair, Awards Committee

Introductory Comments: Scott Presson, Chair, APHA Oral Health Section

Introduction of Caswell A. Evans: Chester Douglass

Presentation of the Award: Scott Presson & Aimee Johansen, Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Acceptance of the Award: Caswell A. Evans

Closing Remarks: Scott Presson

About Dr. Evans

Caswell A. Evans DDS, MPH, a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health, is the Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago (UlC) College of Dentistry and a Professor at the UIC School of Public Health. He also serves as a Visiting Professor, Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery. Dr. Evans completed his undergraduate studies at Franklin and Marshall College, his DDS degree from Columbia University and his MPH from the University of Michigan. His efforts have resulted in programs and policies nationally and internationally that have benefited the oral health of hundreds of thousands of individuals.

He is a strong, effective advocate for health promotion and disease prevention and is deeply committed to health equity and eliminating health disparities. Dr. Evans is a member of the Institute of Medicine and has served as president of leading associations, including APHA, the Association of Public Health Dentistry and the American Board of Dental Public Health. He was the first chair of the Community Preventive Services Task Force; his work resulted in spearheading criteria for assessing community-based and community-wide efforts. He continues to serve on numerous foundation boards, policy centers and municipal Boards of Health. He has consulted with accreditation bodies and with governments in the United States and abroad. For example, he served on the Public Health Functions Steering Committee for the PHS Assistant Secretary for Health in 1995, an initiative whose product still guides the structure of the voluntary public health accreditation process.

Widely known is Dr. Evans' outstanding work with Surgeons General Satcher and Carmona. Dr. Evans served as the project director and Executive Editor of the Surgeon General's first ever report on oral health, Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. The process of the report's development and dissemination was extensive and elevated the visibility of oral health and its relation to general health in our nation and abroad. He then led a National Oral Health Initiative resulting in a "National Call to Action" for oral health that was a public private partnership with the Office of the Surgeon General and served as a guide to states, organizations, foundations and federal agencies.

Dr. Evans has held senior positions at local and state levels. In the early 1970s he launched his career by building a Comprehensive Health Care Center in North Carolina. In the mid-1970s, he served in multiple senior positions with the Seattle-King County Department of Health. He began as the Chief of Dental Services and concurrently during the latter part of his tenure also served as Director, King County Health Services Division. Among his many accomplishments, he led the development of program performance and public health practice guidelines and greatly expanded the service delivery platform. In 1985 he joined the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services as Assistant Director of Health Services. He oversaw the executive administration of all Public Health programs and services and managed a budget of $340 million. While in Los Angeles, Dr. Evans led a number of initiatives including: a collaborative community effort to market public health that led to the formal creation of Public Health Week; launching Great Beginnings for Black Babies, a campaign that encouraged prenatal care for African American women; establishing the Healthy Los Angeles 2000 Coalition for Healthy People 2000; and creating a Health and Faith Coalition of Greater Los Angeles that catalyzed faith-based efforts.

His accomplishments and contributions to the public's health and to public health practice are outstanding and are a model for all in the public health profession. It is our pleasure to honor Dr. Caswell Evans with the APHA, Oral Health Section, 2010 John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award in Dental Public Health.


(L to R) Larry Hill, Aimee Johansen, Caswell Evans, Scott Presson, Chester Douglass

[The award has been presented each year since 1982 to honor an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to improve oral health in the United States. An award of $1,500 is provided by Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals of the Colgate-Palmolive Company. An inscribed silver tray commemorating the occasion is presented by members of the APHA Oral Health Section.]

Jennifer Sanders Receives Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Award

Community Dental Public Health Student Awards

Pre-professional Award Sponsored By Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

138th APHA Annual Meeting


November 8, 2010

Jennifer Sanders, DMD (Anticipated 2012), a student at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, has a

(L to R) Aimee Johansen, Dental Group Mgr, Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Jennifer Sanders, Oscar Arevelo, APHA Oral Health Section
strong interest in public policy and believes that creating appropriate policy is the first important step in improving access to health care including dental care. Growing up in a rural area in
Alberta, Canada, she saw people facing numerous barriers to accessing care. In rural Alberta, many had to travel hours to the nearest metropolitan center in order to get care beyond the most basic health care. Under the direction of Dr. Sena Narendran, Jennifer assessed the proposed mid-level provider concept. Jennifer’s study investigated the scope of services provided by dental hygienists, their opinions and awareness of the existing auxiliary and proposed midlevel dental providers: Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary (EFDA), Dental Therapists (DT), and Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioners (ADHAP). Jennifer has managed this project through all its phases and she is currently writing a manuscript for publication. Literature on dental professionals’ awareness and support for mid-level dental providers appears to be sparse.

Jennifer also spends time providing care to undeserved populations. She participates in Case Western Reserve University’s Healthy Smiles Sealant program, where dental students place pit-and-fissure sealants on the permanent molar teeth of second and sixth grade children from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Jennifer has also participated in the Case School of Dental Medicine’s Family First program that includes risk assessment for oral diseases among individual family members, in an attempt to delineate environmental and genetic components of risk. She also volunteers at the Greater Cleveland Free Medical Clinic, providing dental health education and basic dental care to the indigent. During summer 2010, Jennifer traveled to Guatemala to provide dental care to the Mayan people of Chichicastenga.

Items of Interest

Sheiham & Shabbah on Universal Patterns of Caries

[With all the interest and attention given to childhood caries, let’s not forget that dental caries is not just a childhood disease. It is continuous and ubiquitous in adults, as described in following quotes from their paper. ed.]


 “The majority of proximal lesions in permanent teeth progress slowly and often regress, with an average proximal lesion taking at least 3 years to progress through enamel to dentine [Pitts, 1983].”    

“The Dunedin study highlighted that there was no apparent drop-off in the rate of  increase in percent DMFS with increasing age indicating that most caries occurs after the age of 18 years. So caries susceptibility is not a childhood phenomenon [Broadbent et al., 2008].” 

“Recently, Broadbent et al. [2008] challenged 'the commonly held belief that childhood and adolescence are periods of special risk for caries and/or that caries immunity may be acquired during late adolescence or early adulthood’. They found a relatively constant rate of new caries. There was a linear relationship between rate of increase of percent DMFS with no drop-off in the rate of increase with increasing age from the ages of 5 to 32 years.” 

Click here for: Sheiham A and Sabbah W. Using Universal Patterns of Caries for Planning and Evaluating Dental Care. Caries Res 2010;44:141–150

Periodontal Treatment and Pregnancy ― A Meta-analysis
Pooled results from the highest-quality RCTs do not support the hypothesis of a reduction of preterm birth and low birth weight in women who are treated for periodontal disease during pregnancy. (J Am Dent Assoc. 2010;141(12):1423-1434.)

Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science – Atlantic Monthly  Nov. 1, 2010

[According to John Ioannidis, a meta-researcher]  “…much of what biomedical researchers conclude in published studies — conclusions that doctors keep in mind when they prescribe antibiotics or blood-pressure medication, or when they advise us to consume more fiber or less meat, or when they recommend surgery for heart disease or back pain — is misleading, exaggerated, and often flat-out wrong….as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed….

" ‘Randomized controlled trials,’ which compare how one group responds to a treatment against how an identical group fares without the treatment, had long been considered nearly unshakable evidence, but they, too, ended up being wrong some of the time….

“ ‘The studies were biased,’ he says. ‘Sometimes they were overtly biased. Sometimes it was difficult to see the bias, but it was there.’ Researchers headed into their studies wanting certain results — and, lo and behold, they were getting them. We think of the scientific process as being objective, rigorous, and even ruthless in separating out what is true from what we merely wish to be true, but in fact it’s easy to manipulate results, even unintentionally or unconsciously….

“If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine was proving untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem were undeniable.”

For the complete article, visit The Atlantic website.

Unconscionable Cephalographs

“In the absence of palpable benefit, it is unconscionable that children continue to be exposed to brain radiation and its cytotoxic effect on brain cells by orthodontists who may be more concerned with protecting themselves from negligence lawsuits while performing negligent diagnosis.” Click here for Friedman JW. Orthodontic cephalometric x-rays overdone: a commentary. Dentomaxillofacial Radiology. 2010;39:520.

Kellogg Foundation supports dental therapist program development in five statesRead the News Release.  

Mild Fluorosis is not a Disease

Science Daily (Oct 26, 2010) ― Young children who consume substantial amounts of fluoride through infant formula and other beverages mixed with fluoridated water or by swallowing fluoride toothpaste have an increased chance of developing mild enamel fluorosis, according to research published in the October issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association and supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. However, experts say, children can continue using fluoridated water and fluoride toothpaste because fluoride has been proven to prevent tooth decay, and mild fluorosis does not negatively affect dental health or quality of life. 

Click here the full release.


Florida Jackpot

Faculty at the University of Florida College of Dentistry received five grants totaling nearly $7 million to improve access to dental care for underserved children and adults from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Congratulations to Teresa Dolan, DDS, MPH, Dean of the College of Dentistry, Frank Catalanotto, DMD, Professor and Chair of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences, Scott Tomar, DMD, DrPH, Professor of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences, and Micaela Gibbs, DDS, Assistant Professor.

View the report at


“What is public health?” Fact Sheet

At the request of our Oral Health Section, the APHA fact sheet has now been updated to include dental practitioners under areas of possible public health jobs. The fact sheet may be accessed here

Lynn Bethel, RDH, MPH

Chair-elect, Action Board

Joint Policy Committee

Oral Health Section

Reducing Frequency of Check-ups Improves Dental Health

Letter to BDJ from Aubrey Sheiham (sans tables)

Sir, — The BDA Press Release (17 April 2000) in response to my Jean Todd Lecture at the Dental Practice Board Conference in April says that ‘the public are now advised by their dentists to go for check-ups less often than in the past — that is, at least once a year — unless they need to go more often.’ They also state that the recent Adult Dental Health Survey found that around three quarters of the public has visible plaque. Regarding X-rays, they quote the RCS report which says that routine radiographs for low-risk people need not be taken more often than once every two years.  

In my lecture I said: ‘If NICE recommends that unless a person can be defined as high-risk, the intervals between dental examinations should be 18 months for under 18-year-olds and 2–3 years for adults, the numbers of dental examinations on adults would be reduced by about half, assuming that approximately half the adults currently attending are regular annual attenders. There would be about six to 10 million fewer dental visits a year and a saving of between £50 to £120m considering that fewer radiographs would be taken.’

On scaling and polishing teeth, I said: ‘Over 13 million scaling and polishings are done annually on adults in England and Wales. Yet there is no evidence that there is any health gain from such procedures. In a state-of-the-science review of mechanical oral hygiene practices, Frandsen (1986) concluded that the optimal frequency and starting age for scaling and polishing has not been determined. Scaling, polishing, root planing, and surgical treatment of shallow periodontal pockets results in permanent loss of attachment. A recent systematic review of 144 studies on the effectiveness of scale and polish carried out more frequently than once a year compared to once a year, concluded that there was very little gain in periodontal health from more frequent scalings. Add to these conclusions the findings in the systematic review that chairside dental health education was ineffective in reducing periodontal disease or caries, then there is little scientific justification for prophylaxis and chairside dental health education. Once a year or so, cleaning has questionable health benefit. Yet, that item costs about as much as all NHS inlays and crowns in England and Wales in 1997/98 (DPB 1998), £113.3m compared to £120.2m. That is 13.2 per cent of total GDS annual expenditure for adults.’

I did not state that people should not go to the dentist; merely that the intervals between recalls should be increased and that scale and polishes should be done less frequently. Longer recall intervals would logically mean taking fewer X-rays. Therefore, if we want to assess whether there is any detriment to dental health by increasing the recall intervals, we should compare Regular Attenders (RA) with Occasional Attenders (OA). An analysis of the results from the recent Adult Dental Health Survey — Oral Health in the United Kingdom 1998(3) indicates that there is very little difference in dental health between adults who go regularly or occasionally. Fifty-eight per cent had made no dental visit in the past five years, 34 per cent had made 3–4 visits and six per cent made 5–9 visits in the past five years.

What is most interesting is that OA’s had three or more sound teeth (no fillings) than RA’s. OA’s also had more teeth present and fewer missing teeth.

OA’s had less periodontal disease than RA’s (39 per cent of OAs versus 43 per cent RAs with loss of attachment of 4mm or greater and the differences in plaque (68 per cent in RA’s versus 72 per cent in OAs) and calculus (68 per cent in RA’s versus 75 per cent in OAs) are small and can be explained by the fact that because OA’s had more teeth, there were more surfaces to get plaque and calculus.

In summary, there is no evidence that increasing the interval for dental check-ups to one year or longer had any significant adverse effect on dental status. On the contrary, OA’s had more sound unattacked teeth and fewer teeth with deep periodontal pockets. The BDA state that people are now being advised by their dentists to go for check-ups less often than in the past. Fifty-nine per cent of dentate adults go for regular check ups and 82 per cent of regular attenders have visited a dentist in the last six months - a further 15 per cent have made visits between six months and up to one year. This suggests that either the dentists are not advising their adult patients to go for check ups less often, the 6–month recall was the previous recall interval, or that large percentages of patients, who are now much more dentally healthy than before, are deciding to go for the outdated 6–monthly recall. So, contrary to what the BDA stated, there is some dental health gain in extending recall intervals to 2–3 years for adults, as argued in the Jean Todd Lecture.

 A. Sheiham Professor of Dental Public Health, University College London Medical School

1 DPB (1998) Digest of Statistics 1997/98 Part 1. Detailed analysis of GDS Treatment items. Dental Practice Board

2 Frandsen A, Loe H, Kleinman D V. Mechanical oral hygiene practises. In Dental plaque control measures and oral hygiene practices (1986). p.93-116. Oxford: IRL Press.

3 Kelly M, Steele J, Nuttall N, Bradnock G, Morris J, Nunn J, Pine C, Pitts N, Treasure E, White D. (2000) Adult Dental Health Survey. Oral Health in the United Kingdom 1998. HMSO, London.


New Policy Actions by APHA ― Fluoride Varnish and More

The Governing Council passed a number of new policies at the 2010 138th APHA Annual Meeting in Denver, including a fluoride varnish policy sponsored by the Oral Health Section.

Authored by Amos Deinard and Scott Presson, with extensive Section input, the policy is titled “Fluoride Varnish for Caries Prevention.” The policy makes the following recommendations:

The American Public Health Association urges that:

1.      Public health authorities and health care providers establish coordinated fluoride varnish programs in various public health, dental, and medical settings, using appropriately trained personnel to reach those at moderate to high risk for dental caries, as an adjunct to effective public health programs, such as water fluoridation;

2.      Public health authorities ensure that appropriate assessments are in place to determine a population’s risk for dental caries and offer fluoride varnish application and education through organized programs;

3.      Individuals considered for fluoride varnish application and their parents or caregivers receive age-, culturally and linguistically appropriate oral health anticipatory guidance about caries etiology and prevention, and the role of fluoride varnish and other preventive measures;

4.      Federal, state and local government, insurers, and foundations provide financial support and incentives for fluoride varnish programs for all at-risk populations;

5.      Federal programs provide financial support for additional fluoride varnish research in populations other than children and alternative delivery settings to improve understanding of efficacy, effectiveness, applicability, program adoption, reach, and cost-effectiveness compared to other topical fluoride and caries prevention regimens.

While the Section reviewed all of the proposed policies, there were several that we followed closely, commented on, and actively supported to assure the concerns of the Section were heard. The policies that were passed by the Governing Council that are especially relevant to the oral health community include:

Health Literacy: Confronting a National Public Health Problem (co-authored by our own Alice Horowitz)

Reforming Primary Health Care: Support for the Health Care Home Model

American Public Health Association Child Health Policy for the United States

Annual Influenza Vaccination Requirements for Health Workers

Securing the Long-Term Sustainability of State and Local Health Departments

The new policies should be posted to the APHA website by the time of this Newsletter, or shortly thereafter.  Once finalized, they will be posted at:

Thanks to our Governing Councilors, Woosung Sohn, and Amos Deinard; and also to Scott Presson, Howard Pollick, and Helene Bednarsh for subbing for Amos when he was unable to travel to the Annual Meeting. Thanks also to Lynn Bethel, our Section Action Board representative, who was co-chair of the Joint Policy Committee that oversees the policy process.


Editorial, Too: Do We Need More Dental Schools?

Do We Need More Dental Schools?

Rumor has it that 20 new dental schools are in various stages of contemplation or development. That there is a shortage of dentists in the United States and that it is increasing should not be in doubt. But is increasing the number of dentists the only or the best option?

Some would answer that prevention of dental disease is the answer. But prevention that is highly dependent on individual behavior cannot withstand the onslaught of behavioral patterns, particularly the excessive consumption of sugared foods and beverages that subsidize dental diseases. Water fluoridation, topical fluorides, fluoride toothpaste and sealants do a good job, but they are not completely effective. Enamel still dissolves in the acid of sugar-bred bacteria, and periodontal disease is just as ubiquitous.

Secondary prevention, or the treatment of disease that cannot be prevented, to prevent further disease is therefore necessary. That is what dentists do. But that is also what dental therapists and dental hygienists do within the parameters of their training. Given the assurance of economic difficulties in the foreseeable future with the equal assurance of insufficient funding for education and training programs at every level, all options for increasing the dental workforce to meet the needs of an expanding population should be weighed carefully.

There are 61 dental and nearly 300 dental hygiene schools in the United States. It takes close to eight years after high school to graduate a dentist, compared to two years for a dental hygienist or dental therapist. Reported total expenditures for the four years to educate a dentist average $312,000 for public schools, $233,000 for private schools, and $184,000 for private-state related schools [ADA, 2004]. These figures do not include the cost of three to four  years of pre-dental education or the opportunity cost ― what the student could be earning if not attending professional school. If these additional costs are included and updated to 2011, the total direct and indirect cost involved in the education of a dentist might be $700,000 or more.

The tuition, fees, books, instruments, and living expenses for a two-year dental hygiene program approximates $50,000, plus the two-year opportunity costs, which would bring the total cost to produce a dental hygienist to perhaps $90,000. Many RDH programs in the United States require a year of pre-requisite studies, which has not been included in this guestimation. It would add another $20,000 for a total of $110,000. Assuming the cost to train a dental therapist is about the same as a dental hygienist in a two-year program, seven or eight dental therapists could be trained in one-fourth the time at the same equivalent cost of one dentist.

Setting up a new dental school requires a large investment in the physical structure. On the other hand, existing dental therapy programs could be quickly, easily and inexpensively developed within existing dental hygiene schools with minimal capital costs. Thus, large numbers of dental therapists could be trained quickly at a fraction of the cost of training dentists in order to expand the dental workforce sufficiently to meet the needs of the underserved population in schools, community health centers and public health clinics in collaboration with dentists. Meanwhile, the existing dental schools will continue to train sufficient dentists to serve the needs of the public.

Is there really any doubt as to the answer to the question?

Jay W. Friedman

Vignettes of the Annual Meeting

Social Justice in Oral Health

Ensuring Access to Care for People with HIV

H. Bednarsh, RDH, MPH, Irshad Shaikh, MD,MPH,PhD, Serena Rajabiun, MPH

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

Arlene Lester, DDS, MPH, Habib Benzian, DDS, DPH, Jane Steffensen, MPH, Jacqueline Scott, JD, ML, Charla Lautar, RDH, PHD, Mary Williard, DDS

Should Food Stamps be used to Purchase Soda?  

Jonathan Shenkin, DDS, MPH, Susan Babey, PhD, Alice Horowitz, PhD, Bonnie Braun, PhD, Katherine Lee Underhill, BSW, MSW       


Oral Health Report Cards: Friend or Foe?

Amber Williams, Chris Wood, RDH, BS; Bev Isman, RDH, MPH

 Katie Sellers, PhD


 On Social Justice                  Advances in Health Literacy

    R.F.Gist, DDS          Jessica Lee, DDS, PhD      Gary D. Podschun, ADA

   ADA President                 


 Jack Dillenberg, DDS,MPH, Dave Rosenstein, DDS,MPH, Larry Hill,DDS,MPH 




Oral Health Section Exhibit Area

Josefine Wolfe, RDH




Herschel S. Horowitz Scholar Wins Poster Award

Alejandra Valencia, 2009 Herschel S. Horowitz scholarship recipient, was named first place winner in the scientific competition for her poster at the annual Hispanic Dental Association meeting (Oct. 28-30, 2010). The poster’s title was: “Disparities in Access-Utilization of Dental Services Among Iowa Children: The Latino Experience”. Her co-authors were Karin Weber-Gasparoni, Fang Qian, John Warren and Peter Damiano.

The Herschel S. Horowitz Scholarship is designed to support dentists pursuing dental public health specialty education. Scholarship recipients are expected to pursue board certification in dental public health.


Herschel S. Horowitz



Herschel S. Horowitz, DDS, MPH, was an internationally known epidemiologist, educator and public health advocate whose work focused on the prevention of tooth decay, the most common disease of childhood. His studies provided the evidence for the efficacy and effectiveness of community and school-based fluoride and dental sealant programs now used in the United States and abroad to prevent this infectious disease. His research was aimed at identifying measures that were not only safe and effective, but that also were easy to apply, low in cost and acceptable to the public. His goal was to identify programs that benefit those most in need and that reach the largest number of individuals.


David Soricelli to be honored with Allukian Lifetime Achievement Award

David A. Soricelli, DDS , MPH , former dental director and Deputy Health Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia, will receive the Myron Allukian, Jr. AACDP Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Community Dental Programs on Sunday, April 10, 2011, in Pittsburgh preceding the National Oral Health Conference

Dr. Soricelli was a very action-oriented public health dentist in Philadelphia. He established the first successful expanded function dental auxiliary or technotherapist program in the United States in the 1960s, despite enormous opposition from organized dentistry. He also developed a very unique quality control program for dental care. He couldn't be stopped, always fighting for the underserved. His city dental program was a model for the nation

He will celebrate his 85th birthday this spring.  

Call for 2011 Knutson Award Nominations

Nominations for the 2011 John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award in Dental Public Health are now being accepted by the APHA Oral Health Section.

About Dr. Knutson

In 1957, John W. Knutson was the first dentist to be president of  APHA. He pioneered with Henry Klein in the 1937-1947 Hagerstown studies of the epidemiology of dental caries. In the 1940s he studied outcomes of dental referral programs and systematically researched topical fluoride effectiveness. He made seminal contributions to the understanding and implementation of the roles of dental health and dentistry in public health.

About the John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award

This award has been presented by the Oral Health Section of APHA each year since 1982 to honor an individual who has made outstanding contributions to improve oral health in the United States. Its recipients have demonstrated sustained and exemplary accomplishments in the field of dental public health.

Criteria for the Award include:

·         Outstanding contributions to improve oral health in the United States.

·         Distinguished career at the local, state, national or international level in dental public health practice, academia, military, business or industry.

·         Leadership in the profession.

·         Significant accomplishments.

·         Past or present member of APHA.

Nomination Procedure:

Submit one nomination package for the award nominee that includes:

·         A curriculum vitae or biographical information of nominee.

·         Letter(s) of recommendation for this award.

Please send the nomination package in hard copy format and electronically to:

Jane E. M. Steffensen, MPH, CHES

Chair, Knutson Award Committee

11634 Whisper Dew Street

San Antonio, TX 78230

Telephone: (210) 567-5567

E-mail:   (Include Knutson Award Nomination in Subject Line)


Contact Jane Steffensen for more information.

Deadline for Submission: May 18, 2011

Tax-deductible contributions can be made to the APHA Oral Health Knutson Memorial Account. Click here for the Donation Form.


Call for 2011 Jong Award Nominations

Community Dental Health Student Awards

In memory of Anthony Westwater Jong and in recognition of his commitment to community-based dental public health, his strong and highly acclaimed mentoring of students, and his emphasis on the importance of state, local and community-based public health action, the Oral Health Section of APHA requests nominations for the 2011 Pre- and Post-Professional Awards:

The Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Pre-Professional Award

The Pre-Professional Award, sponsored by Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc., recognizes an outstanding community-based research or service project of an oral health nature carried out by a pre-doctoral dental student, or a dentist who has graduated within the preceding 12 months from an ADA-accredited dental school, or a dental hygiene student, or a hygienist who has graduated from an accredited school of dental hygiene in the United States within the preceding 12 months. Up to two Pre-Professional Awards will be granted each year. The award provides two recipients a $200 cash award, a copy of Jong’s Community Dental Health, 5th Edition, one year membership in APHA Oral Health Section, the registration fee to the APHA Annual Meeting, a plaque commemorating the occasion to be presented at the APHA Annual Meeting and two tickets to attend the Oral Health Section Dinner following the Awards ceremony.

The Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Post-professional Award

The Post-professional Award, sponsored by OMNI Preventive Care, A 3M ESPE Company, recognizes an outstanding community-based research or service project of an oral health nature carried out by a dentist, physician, dental hygienist, nurse, nurse practitioner, social worker and/or other professional with an interest in oral health who is currently enrolled in: 1) an ASPH accredited School of Public Health; 2) a CEPH accredited School of Public Health or Graduate Public Health Program; 3) an ADA-accredited Dental Public Health Program; or 4) a graduate level/university-based  program with a significant course of study in public health related courses, or who has graduated from one of the aforementioned programs in the preceding 12 months. Though applicants are not required to have a degree in dentistry, dental public health or dental hygiene, the application of community-based dental public health principles to the design of the project must be clear. One Post-professional Award will be granted per year. The award provides the recipient with a $200 cash award, a copy of Jong’s Community Dental Health, 5th Edition, one year membership in APHA Oral Health Section, the registration fee to the APHA Annual Meeting, a plaque commemorating the occasion to be presented at the APHA Annual Meeting, and two tickets to attend the Oral Health Section Dinner following the Awards ceremony, hotel expenses (three nights, up to $600), and transportation to the Annual Meeting (up to $300).

Application Procedure:

It is preferred, but not required, that applicants be nominated by a current member of APHA. If the nominator is not an APHA member, s/he must be a faculty member who knew the applicant well during the applicant’s period of training. Applicants currently enrolled in a degree program must be in good academic standing. All applicants are required to submit to the APHA Oral Health Section Jong Award Committee a completed application together with a narrative description (no more than 1,500 words) of the applicant’s community-based dental public health research or service project.

The deadline for applications is May 13, 2011. Applications should be sent to:

Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Award Committee

C/o Wanda G. Wright, DDS, MSD

Assistant Professor

Department of Public Health & Community Service

Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

1 Kneeland Street

Boston, MA 02111

Phone: 6(17) 636-36-46


Decisions will be announced by July 1, 2011

For more information about the Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Public Health Student Awards, please contact the 2011 Committee Chair:

Wanda G. Wright, DDS, MSD (

Tax-deductible contributions can be made to the Anthony Westwater Jong Community Dental Health Student Awards Enrichment Fund at APHA.

Tax-deductible contributions can be made to the APHA Oral Health Jong Memorial Account. Click here for the Donation Form.

APHA Midyear Meeting

Registration Now Open for APHA Midyear Meeting — "Implementing Health Reform: A Public Health Approach"


Registration is now open for APHA’s Midyear Meeting: Implementing Health Reform — A Public Health Approach. Join public health colleagues and partners in Chicago, June 23-25, to better understand the health reform law and its implications from a public health perspective. Gain the tools needed for implementing the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and for improving health outcomes in communities across the country. The early-bird registration deadline is April 15. To register or for more information, visit



Twenty-First Annual APHA Public Health Materials Contest

The APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communication materials for the 21 st annual competition. The contest provides a forum to showcase public health materials during the APHA Annual Meeting and recognizes professionals for their hard work.

All winners will be selected by panels of expert judges prior to the 139th APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.  A session will be held at the Annual Meeting to recognize winners, during which one representative from the top materials selected in each category will give a presentation about the winning material.

Entries will be accepted in three categories; printed materials, electronic materials, and other materials. Entries for the contest are due by March 25, 2011.  Please contact Stephanie Parsons at for additional contest entry information.