The concept of a dental home has been present in the dental industry for some time, having first been introduced in the 1970s. It wouldn’t be until 2006 that the concept began getting traction and support from the American Dental Association. The concept of a dental home focuses on the idea that the members of a family are the first and best advocates for the dental health of the members of that family.
What Are The Cornerstones Of The Dental Home
Education is one of the cornerstones of the dental home. The idea that patients should be educated and involved in their dental health care may not seem like a revolutionary concept, but it was one that took some time to get accepted by the dental community. Now that it has, it has taken the Dental world by storm, revolutionizing the relationship between patients and their care providers.
Access To Care
In addition to education, accessibility is a key component. Accessibility is promoted by providing better financing options to patients of the clinic. The expense of dental care is often a barrier to those seeking to improve their oral health, especially in cases where implants, dentures, and other expensive work is needed. The overall model especially focuses on children. Children tend to be at high risk for oral health concerns, especially in homes where the parents aren’t sufficiently educated on dental care concerns or lack the financial ability to provide proper care.
Coordination Of Care
This service will be provided as part of the comprehensive community care. It begins with the identification of a lead coordinator, often a dentist or other medical professional within the industry, though a family member can be selected as well. The important element of any qualified coordinator is that they must be able to navigate the health care system comfortably. Programs like Iowa’s I-Smile program help facilitate this aspect of the program.
Central to ongoing oral health is preventative care. Preventative care is less expensive than later repair work or treatment of decay. It also ensures that individuals are able to maintain their natural teeth longer, one of the primary goals of any dentist. Risk assessment, education, preventative care, and outreach are all essential portions of this part of the program. The University of Tennessee’s Oral Health Education Program has shown that even 20 minutes spent teaching new mothers about dental health care has had notable results in the form of reduced tooth decay in children aged 3-4.
If you want to take steps to make your home one that is active and educated on the subject of oral health care, reach out to your dentist today. Dr. Swati Singh helps patients develop their homes into dental homes from the Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry Office in Indianapolis, IN. Schedule an appointment today to begin your journey towards lifelong dental health for you and your family today! It’s never too late to get started on developing a home with great oral health!