tion and training, advocacy, research, dental practice, and building and maintaining coalitions.

Another activity of ADA is the National Roundtable for Dental Collaboration. It has representation from all types of organizations that are involved with the profession of dentistry, including industry partners and vendors. The group decided to focus on oral health literacy and is working with the Ad Council on a 3-year oral-health literacy campaign, with ADA contributing $1 million of the campaign’s total cost of $3.2 million. Another potential partner for work in oral health literacy is Scholastic Publishing. It works on literacy issues through its Read and Rise3 program, and it is interested in developing an oral health component for its programs, Calnon said.

Other attributes from the commissioned paper that might be of interest to those in dental practice are concerned with inquiry, innovation, and evaluation and with measurement and assessment. A major activity of the ADA is conducting baseline surveys of its members on communication techniques. The National Advisory Committee on Health Literacy in Dentistry is examining the challenges to implementing health literacy practices and is reviewing research on health literacy. A review of printed educational materials, continuing education for dental team members, and other resources is also under way.

Preparing an effective workforce and improving system navigation are other priority attributes for the ADA. There is a pilot program at the schools of dentistry at Temple University and at the University of Oklahoma that is testing a potential new member of dental teams called a community dental health coordinator.4 Such a coordinator would be, essentially, a patient navigator who would be working directly in communities to help with outreach in oral health literacy. The program is intended to be community-based and culturally and linguistically responsive and to establish linkages with local dental clinics.

Yet another attribute of interest to the ADA is health information technology, Calnon said. The ADA is looking at ways that technology can be used to increase educational effectiveness.

Some of the other attributes listed in the paper are of lower priority for dental providers. Medication safety and communication are not as important for dental providers, for instance, as dentists in private practice tend not to prescribe many medications, mainly just antibiotics and


3 “Read and Rise is a sustainable and systematic literacy engagement program designed to bring families, schools, and communities together to support children’s literacy development, while celebrating the positive impact of family culture and tradition.” http://www.scholastic.com/aboutscholastic/communityreadandrise.htm (accessed January 25, 2012).

4 Information about the community dental health coordinator can be found at http://www.ada.org/cdhc.aspx.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement