Altarum, in collaboration with Delta Dental of Michigan, the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, is working to reduce the burden of childhood dental disease in Michigan.
Delivering improved oral health screening tools, technical assistance, and training to providers.
Utilizing existing state infrastructure to develop a public health tool that allows physicians to refer patients to the appropriate dental care provider.
Providing education to pediatricians, other primary care providers, and dentists to improve delivery of preventive oral health services, and using outreach and education to families to close the dental care awareness gap.
Developing a statewide quality monitoring system that will allow the state to monitor the program’s impact on health.
Despite being relatively inexpensive to prevent, dental disease is the most prevalent chronic health condition among children in the United States.1,2
In some areas of Michigan, 80% of children did not see a dentist in the past year.3,4
As much as 80% of tooth decay is experienced by only 20% of the population.5
1 in 7 elementary school children 6 to 12 years of age suffer from a toothache, which can negatively affect their concentration, school attendance, and academic achievement.6
Children who see a dentist by age 1 typically have dental costs 40% lower than those of children who don’t see a dentist in the first five years of life.7
Fluoride is proven to be successful in reducing dental decay among children and works to address decay in its earliest stages.8
Many emergency dental admissions become prolonged hospitalizations with significant costs.1,10
Pediatric dental care is integral for giving children a valuable foundation for a healthy life.
Medical providers are key partners in the effort to increase access to oral health care for children.
Caring for young children’s teeth is an important part of keeping their bodies healthy—and it’s never too early to get started!
Leveraging educators in teaching children about the importance of oral health can help to improve preventive behaviours and help children avoid developing dental decay and the consequent pain and missed time at school.
All children and adolescents covered by Medicaid and MIChild have coverage for oral health services, including oral examinations, cleanings, preventive services (fluoride varnish, dental sealants), treatment, and restorative care.
Trying to find a dentist for your child? We can help. Simply click on the Delta Dental image below and you will be directed to the Delta Dental of Michigan website.