ADA summit focuses on access to care

Nearly 150 stakeholders from nonprofit groups, government agencies, and private industry met March 23-25 at a summit on access to dental care convened by the ADA to create a common vision toward improving the oral health of underserved populations, according to the ADA.

The meeting was held at the ADA's national headquarters in Chicago and was underwritten primarily through sponsorship from the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, with the support of Procter & Gamble and the Dental Trade Alliance, the ADA said.

"Both the private and public sectors are challenged to meet the needs of an ever-growing number of U.S. residents who cannot regularly access oral healthcare," said ADA President John Findley, D.D.S., in a press release. "In many ways, this is a societal issue. We are very pleased with the success of the summit, which will serve as a milestone toward our common goal of improving access to dental care."

Among the major topics discussed were increasing collaboration between the dental and medical communities; workforce development strategies; strengthening dental delivery systems, the dental public health infrastructure, and population-based prevention strategies; improving oral health literacy through social marketing; and finding better ways to define and measure the access issue, the ADA noted.

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