Each pediatric oral health program in the America’s ToothFairy Dental Clinic Resource Program uniquely reflects the community it serves. Scroll down to find more about each type of children’s oral health program in our network and the types of dental clinic support we provide.
University Dental & Dental Hygiene Programs
A university and/or dental school serves as a hub, coordinating oral health activities that target underserved populations at either a campus-based dental clinic or ancillary outreach sites throughout a city or statewide geographic area. Ancillary sites may include Head Start programs, student rotations to preceptor sites at local public health facilities, mobile dental programs, or other outreach venues where the university has a presence.
Comprehensive Community Healthcare Facility
Facilities meeting the criteria for this model not only deliver both medical and dental care, but also share seamless collaborations between medical and dental providers in promoting good oral health practices. Physicians, pediatricians, nurses, nutritionists, social workers and other healthcare providers are well educated in the pathophysiology and associated risk factors of early childhood dental caries and are able to make appropriate decisions regarding timely and effective intervention.
Research has indicated that access to early oral health care is critical to the early identification and prevention of the disease. Because pediatricians and other child health professionals are most likely to encounter new mothers and infants, America’s ToothFairy endorses and employs the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Oral Health Risk Assessment Training for Pediatricians and Other Child Health Professionals as a tool to provide these health professionals with the information and support they need to offer community-based, collaborative care within a medical home. All healthcare professionals are able to determine risk assessment and triage infants and young children appropriately, based on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement: Oral Health Risk Assessment Timing and Establishment of the Dental Home.
Hospital-Based Dental Clinic
Hospital-based dental clinics in the America’s ToothFairy Dental Clinic Resource Program are located in close proximity to a hospital, are directed under the auspices of the large hospital system and have the ability to treat medically or mentally compromised children and those needing full mouth restorative procedures in the operating room. Many hospital-based Affiliates also serve as preceptor sites for dental schools.
School-Based Dental Clinic
The school-based model dental programs operate on the premises of a school campus. The purpose of the clinic is to provide complete access for those children who would otherwise not receive professional dental care.
Stand Alone Dental Clinic
Stand alone dental clinics are located physically separate from other healthcare services and may or may not be associated with a larger organization. A stand-alone dental clinic may be an entity unto itself or governed under the infrastructure of a larger health care system. Affiliates under this model may partner with area medical clinics, local schools, civic groups, etc. to provide oral health “field trips”, in house, and community oral health screenings, education, preventive and comprehensive restorative treatment.
Mobile Dental Facility/Portable Unit
The mobile dental model represents a vehicle that delivers its portable dental equipment to a particular venue and delivers on-site dental care. Sites include schools, health fairs, group homes and other community-linked locations. There are two types of distinct mobile dental vehicles. The “hub and spokes” mobile dental vans house all dental equipment in the back of the cab, and patients receive care in the vehicle. The “spokes” model is comprised of portable equipment that is removed from the vehicle and set up in a designated area within the facility contracting for oral health services.
Partnership model programs facilitate and/or deliver education, oral health assessment or screening, triage and/or referral, and follow up with children needing services in their communities. They may not have the capability of physically delivering dental treatment themselves. However, they establish relationships and coordinate and/or contract with local dentists in their communities to accept their referrals, respond to children’s comprehensive dental needs and report the results to the Partnership for tracking purposes.
Partnership models can be a collaboration of several community organizations that come together to create an oral health program with a primary goal to improve the oral health of underserved children and families in their area. The program focuses on prevention, education and outreach to children in preschools, public schools and in other community agencies serving children and works through a network of dentists and other oral health professionals who volunteer to provide services at reduced fees to children who are underinsured or uninsured.
Interested in becoming a member of the America’s ToothFairy Affiliate Network? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.