Medical/Dental Partnership with Care Coordination
Young children are more likely to access medical care than dental care. Well baby visits begin at an early age and continue on a regular periodicity throughout childhood. These are opportunities to educate families, prevent dental disease and connect children and families to the child’s assigned dental provider. This project aims to increase the knowledge, skill, and confidence of medical professionals, including pediatricians, with oral health matters.
This pilot trains pediatricians and support staff to provide oral health education, conduct a dental screening, apply fluoride varnish and perform a caries risk assessment. A caries risk assessment is a tool to predict future development of cavities before the onset of the disease. Risk factors are the life-style and biochemical factors that contribute to the development and progression of the disease. The doctor/medical staff then refers the child to their assigned dentist for a complete dental exam. The child’s dental plan is alerted after his/her visit to the pediatrician so that care coordination can begin to ensure that child makes and keeps the dental appointment.
Project Goals and Anticipated Outcomes:
The overarching goal of the Medical-Dental Partnership is to ensure that all children in the participating medical practices have access to preventive dental services and have at least one visit with a dentist within a 12-month period. The pilot aims to:
1) Increase the number of children with an established dental home;
2) Increase the percentage of children who receive preventive dental services; and
3) Increase the number of referrals to dentists that result in a dental visit.
The pilot will be launched with Kaiser Permanente with the intention to expand to other providers in 2018-20.