The state of dental health in the U.S. hasn’t been looking good for decades. While the number of untreated caries is significantly lower today than it was in the 1970s, this has hardly improved from that of more than 20 years ago. Statistics show that one out of five children still has tooth decay that needs immediate attention.
Unfortunately, dental anxiety continues to be a main hindrance to getting good dental care. An estimated 5 to 8 percent of Americans refuse to visit the dentist largely out of past trauma. If trends don’t improve soon, treatment for advanced oral health problems will continue to cost families dearly.
In light of these, dentists from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine initiated their annual Dental Home Day in Boston. As Boston.com staff Chelsea Rice reports, the program has benefitted select children who enjoyed free dental treatments and continued support until next year. What the program truly aims to achieve, however, is to bring home a pediatric dental care concept, known as “the dental home”.
“This campaign is all based around the concept of building a dental home, a nationwide concept since the mid-1990s, an effort to establish a dental office where a child can go at 12 months or younger and develop a regular, consistent, relationship with that care team that supervises their oral health to maximize treatment and prevention.”
The Dental Home
Any pediatric dentist in Marietta or elsewhere will stress the importance of dental care as early as six months old or when the first tooth erupts. This is not only to keep close tabs on that first tooth; it’s also to establish a long-standing relationship with the dentist.
The dental home was born out of the medical home concept, first introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1992. Studies at the time showed that healthcare in a medical home environment provided better quality for lower cost, as opposed to traditional medical facilities. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) encourages the application of this concept among dentists.
The AAPD also outlines several elements that must be present in a dental home; one of which is a trauma plan. For a caring kids dentist in Marietta, like Dr. Brent Herrin, dental trauma takes top priority, and will be treated even after hours. Dental trauma can be especially damaging in children, both physically and emotionally, and a highly qualified kids’ dentist will know how to deal with such a situation in both levels.
Kids’ oral health is best entrusted to a pediatric dentist who has been trained to deal with factors affecting not only children’s dental care, but also their emotional experience when they visit the dentist.
(Source: These Kids Are Excited to Visit the Dentist, Boston.com, May 22, 2014)