Monday Roundtable Luncheon
Tooth decay is the leading chronic infectious disease for children in the United States (CDC). An estimated 51 million school hours are lost per year due to a dental related illness. In West Virginia, 34% of preschoolers already have dental caries. Studies have shown a 25-45% reduction in decay rate with the use of fluoride varnish. The mission of the Oral Health Program (OHP) is to promote and improve the oral health of all West Virginians. One of the strengths of the OHP is a focus on continuous quality improvement. One example of this oral health quality improvement has resulted in the medical/dental collaboration to include fluoride varnish services in non-dental settings to promote optimal oral health of the infant/early childhood population in our state. Efforts have been well supported by collaborating with multiple partners who share the same goal of improving oral health throughout West Virginia. Other efforts included a policy change within both WV Medicaid and the WV Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This roundtable session will discuss the challenges and successes of working to bring medical and dental providers together to improve the oral health of all West Virginians.