Monday Roundtable Luncheon
While patients who have availed themselves of dental services in the United States have enjoyed the highest quality dental care in the world, many patients are underserved presently, thereby raising the need to address both access to care and utilization of care. Underserved patients often exhibit a greater degree of complications and other systemic health conditions. Although the vast majority of oral health treatments are preventable through the prevention model of oral health literacy, sound hygiene and preventive care available through the dental team concept, the underserved not only lack for treatment, but also are not well informed about prevention. A collaboration among professional organizations; local, state, and federal governments; community organizations; and other private entities can help turn the tide for the underserved populations. The Academy of General Dentistry will facilitate a discussion about a multi-faceted approach that focuses on oral health literacy; incentives to promote dentistry and dental teams in underserved areas; provision of volunteer services and bridging the divide between patients’ access and utilization through the use of community services. The Roundtable will discuss over 20 concrete steps that can be utilized to increase access to care for underserved populations. Founded in 1952, the AGD and its 40,000 members is the oldest and largest dental association for general dentists.