Dental Support for the Agnews Closure
Anews Developmental Center, an institution which has served individuals with health issues and developmental disabilities for more than 100 years, has closed down. The Pacific Center for Special Care supported the Dental Coordinators (DCs) hired by the three Regional Centers (San Andreas, Golden Gate, and East Bay) and Regional Center personnel associated with the unified plan to develop and implement an oral health support systems in an effort to develop sources of oral health care before Agnews residents were placed in the community.
Development of Community-Based Systems
The Pacific Center:
- Assisted the regional centers and dental coordinators in developing unique community-based systems for their agency and region. Pacific supported the dental coordinators in the development of local resources; dental provider recruitment efforts; continued screening, prevention planning, and tracking of Agnews clients' oral health needs; and prevention education to care providers and other necessary community prevention programs.
- Worked with personnel from the Agnews Dental Clinic to coordinate activities and resources for this project.
- Provided support for resource development by training and assisting the dental coordinators in methods that have been shown to be successful in enlisting the participation of local oral health professionals, clinics, and education programs.
Creation of individual and community prevention programs
The Pacific Center:
- Trained and supported the dental coordinators in developing individual and community prevention programs.
- Supplied training materials and protocols for these programs.
- Conducted training programs, as indicated, to increase the skills and comfort of community oral health professionals in working with people with developmental disabilities.
- Note: there was separate support from a DDS Wellness grant to specifically cover the costs associated with postgraduate courses and meetings of the Statewide Task Force on Oral Health for People with Special Needs.
Prevention Products Project
- This project provided medical treatment products to residential service providers to use in conjunction with intensive oral health prevention plans.
- The Pacific Center had a contract with the Unified Plan Regional Centers to provide medical prevention products to all three Regional Centers.
- The Center tracked the quantities and costs of prevention products used as the DC supplied individuals with appropriate products. With a significant focus on prevention, we expected the Regional Centers to see long-term decreases in hospital sedation cases and dental visit costs. Integration of prevention products into the service provider homes would then be more feasible once positive consumer outcomes are demonstrated.
- After the one-year prevention product contract period, Pacific estimated the ongoing costs for continuing a program to make these products available to consumers.
In-Home Prevention Services
Given the difficulty of finding sources of dental care for former Agnews residents, particularly those with complex medical, behavioral or physical challenges, it's critical that significant efforts be made to prevent dental disease and minimize the need for treatment services. It's also important to involve dentists and encourage collaboration in the overall dental care of those individuals.
- Developed in-home prevention services and a system for dentist collaboration. The project also involved collecting electronic records, using tele-dentistry methods, and facilitating access to dental treatment services for individuals with complex situations.
- Equipped, trained and tracked three RDHAP dental hygienists to provide in-home hygiene and prevention services, including desensitization, and therapeutic hygiene services such as teeth cleanings, scaling, root planing, or other necessary oral hygiene services.
- Encouraged RDHAPs to work closely with patients and care providers in providing prevention education.
- Collaborated with the Regional Centers to develop a system for providing these services, billing and tracking dental treatment and provider recruitment.