Oral Health Trends

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department releases Smile Survey

Toddler smiling while brushing her teeth
Toddler smiling while brushing her teeth

Toddler smiling while brushing her teeth

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has released the Smile Survey, a report which details the oral health of children in Pierce County. The report shows that compared to 2010, substantially fewer children have untreated decay and substantially more children have protective dental sealants.

This is due in part to the presence of the TPCHD School Based Oral-Health program, which connects dental providers to schools so dental staff can visit local schools to provide dental screenings, fluoride varnish, dental sealant applications and oral health education. The work these providers have done has greatly reduced the untreated decay in the county and provided far more access to preventive dental services, like sealants.

For access to the Smile Survey, and articles regarding the School Based Oral-Health Program, visit the links below:

 

2015 PC Smile Survey Final

Final Pierce op-ed

Pierce County SBHP

Recent update on Washington Apple Health Dental Coverage

WA Apple Health Dental Update Presentation 2016.03

On March 9, 2016, Pierce County Oral Health Coalition members and others convened to gain insight and updates on Washington State’s Apple Health (Medicaid) dental coverage for children and adults. In her presentation, Dianne Baum, Dental Program Administrator for Washington Apple Health shared: status and scope of dental benefits provided to our state’s residents who qualify for Apple Health benefits, state-wide Apple Health dental provider statistics, and important information on state provider audit programs and potential audit criteria and triggers.

Providers are responsible for checking the HCA website for updates. Washington’s Apple Health Dental Billing Guides are updated quarterly: January, April, July and October. There is a separate guide for the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (“ABCD”) program. Ms. Baum suggested signing up for “go-delivery” e-mails and visiting the Dental webpage.

An engaging question and answer session followed the presentation, focused primarily on preauthorization of dental services and other claims handling issues. Ms. Baum’s presentation included helpful links and contact information for providers. Apple Health clients will also find valuable information about their benefits on HCA’s “For Clients” page, including a current summary of adult dental benefits.

This was incredibly helpful and specific information for dental billers, and nice to have additional Health Care Authority Apple Health resource information,” remarked one participant.

Presentation Handouts:

 

“What’s Trending” Oral Health Symposium a success

On October 3, 2015 PCOHC hosted a full house at its “What’s Trending in Oral Health” symposium at Bates Technical College in Tacoma.

The gathering garnered positive reviews for presentations and speakers, with topics covering sexually transmitted diseases and the oral cavity, sleep apnea and the dental connection, as well as current Pierce County drug and cigarette-alternative drug trends and their associated oral health implications. Thank you to our wonderful speakers and to all who attended and provided feedback including for future conferences. We also wish to acknowledge and thank our generous Symposium Sponsors for making this event possible.

 

Click on the following links for detailed symposium information:

 

 

“What’s trending in oral health” symposium October 2015

You already know that oral health is directly linked to overall health and well-being. Pierce County’s “What’s Trending in Oral Health” Symposium will help you stay on top of the trends, gain new insight and relevant, timely information about medical, social and other factors that impact oral health. Join us in Tacoma for this educational morning on Friday, October 2, 2015.

  • Professional, engaging speakers
  • Useful information in working with patients, students, community members
  • Four (4) CEU credits
  • Affordable
  • Local and convenient @ Bates Technical College South Campus, 2201 S. 78th Street, Tacoma, WA 98409
  • Sponsor exhibitors with valuable information
  • Detailed speaker, topic, directions and registration information found here:PCOHC 2015 Oral Health Symposium_Registration_Flyer [2015.09.10]

Who Should Attend?
• Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants and front office staff.
• School and preschool health educators, nurses, and health aids.
• Primary care physicians, pediatricians, ARNPs, and PAs.
• Registered nurses, LPNs, and nursing assistants.
• Anyone interested in oral and overall health.

Don’t miss out! Register by 9/24/15 or earlier by completing/submitting:PCOHC 2015 Oral Health Symposium_Registration_Flyer [2015.09.10]

See you there!

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