Dental case management can be essential for disadvantaged children's health, study finds

Dental case management improves high-risk children's oral health, according to recent study results published July 1 in ADA News.

Case management refers to the process of patient assessment, care coordination, cost estimation and advocacy. The study followed Fargo, N.D.-area safety-net dental programs and examined how they could serve more children with the help of a community dental health coordinator.

The study connected a CDHC with local dental safety-net programs during the 2019-20 school year to provide children with screenings and risk assessments. The number of children enrolled in the programs who found accessible dental providers increased from 38 percent to 90 percent.

"The project demonstrated many benefits of active case management, including identifying high-risk children with extensive treatment needs early and getting them linked to specialized care," said Brent Holman, DDS, one of the project's leaders, told ADA News.

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