Western Kentucky University

Poster Title

Solutions to Access to Oral Care in Kentucky

Institution

Western Kentucky University

Abstract

Access to oral health care is a barrier that exists in many geographic regions of the United States but particularly in Kentucky. Lack of access, poor oral health literacy and poverty are all contributing factors to the continual decline of oral health in Kentucky. The limited access is directly related to the dentist to population ratio and the shortage of dentists in many rural areas of Kentucky. Seeking a viable solution to this oral health dilemma was the basis for our research. Upon review of professional and scientific journals, it was determined that creation of a midlevel provider in dentistry would be the solution. Investigation and research of the five proposed dental workforce models revealed the solution to limited access to care in Kentucky would be the creation of the Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner.

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Solutions to Access to Oral Care in Kentucky

Access to oral health care is a barrier that exists in many geographic regions of the United States but particularly in Kentucky. Lack of access, poor oral health literacy and poverty are all contributing factors to the continual decline of oral health in Kentucky. The limited access is directly related to the dentist to population ratio and the shortage of dentists in many rural areas of Kentucky. Seeking a viable solution to this oral health dilemma was the basis for our research. Upon review of professional and scientific journals, it was determined that creation of a midlevel provider in dentistry would be the solution. Investigation and research of the five proposed dental workforce models revealed the solution to limited access to care in Kentucky would be the creation of the Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner.