August 18, 2021
The ADA will host a free four-part series of webinars in September that will focus on patients with special needs.
The Achieving Optimal Oral Health series will be broadcast and recorded live every evening of the series from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central Time.
Two members of the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention will lead the series: Karin Arsenault, DMD, Assistant Professor and Director of the Geriatric Dentistry Program at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine; and Brooke Fukuoka, DMD, new dental association to the council who has a career in caring for special needs patients. Guest speakers are also involved.
People with disabilities sometimes face particular challenges in accessing dental care, said Dr. Fukuoka.
“In this series, we will provide information to patients, caregivers, dentists and dentists to address some of these challenges and improve the oral health of this wonderful group of people,” she added. “Join us as we bring people from different backgrounds together to learn through a combination of formal presentations, open discussions and video interviews.”
“More education and training will result in more general practitioners in the future willing to treat these patients,” said Dr. Arsenault.
The sessions are:
• Session 1: September 10th, Carers and Families on Oral Disease Prevention for Patients with Special Health Needs. This session guides caregivers of people with special health needs through the dental environment. Dental hygienist Karen Fallone, faculty member at AT Still University, and Dr. Fukuoka.
• Session 2: September 15th: Make the dental office more inclusive for patients with special health needs. Participants learn about various considerations for designing dental practices for people with special health needs. Four dentists will present their principles of patient management and necessary adjustments. Speakers include Maureen Perry, DO, Jacob Dent, DDS, David Fray, DDS, and Allen Wong, DDS
• Session 3: September 22nd, innovations in dental care that improve access to care for patients with special health needs. This session explores how teledentistry, wearable dentistry, and a hybrid approach can improve access to care and prevent disease. The speakers include Dr. Fukuoka and Lyubov Slashcheva, DDS, whose public health research and administration skills enable her to advocate for her patients by developing evidence-based practices and guidelines.
• Session 4: September 29th, training future dentists to optimally treat patients with special health needs. Participants will hear from four dental school principals who have incorporated disability-specific content to ensure students have the knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies to provide quality, effective and compassionate care to this patient population. Panelists are Leonardo Marchini, DDS, Ph.D., of the College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics at the University of Iowa; Mark Wolff, DDS, Ph.D, of Penn Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; Darren Drag, DDS, from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine; and Courtney Chinn, DDS, from NYU College of Dentistry.