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Pacific Center for Special Care Contributes to Journal of the California Dental Association Issue Focused on Virtual Dental Homes

July  20, 2012

The July 2012 issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association is dedicated to the Pacific Center for Special Care's Virtual Dental Home project. The Center's director, along with center staff and other school faculty members contributed six manuscripts to the publication. The authors include Paul Glassman DDS, MA, MBA, professor of dental practice and director of the Pacific Center for Special Care; Maureen Harrington MPH, program manager in the Pacific Center for Special Care; Maysa Namakian MPH, program manager in the Pacific Center for Special Care; Paul Subar DDS, Ed.D., associate professor of dental practice and Alan Budenz, DDS, MBA, professor of dental practice.

Articles in the dedicated issue include a discussion of "health homes" and the use of telehealth technologies to connect geographically distributed providers and the development of effective prevention and early intervention techniques; using telehealth technologies to improve oral health for vulnerable and underserved populations; the ability of dentists to make diagnostic and treatment decisions using a telehealth enabled virtual examination; community-based prevention and early intervention strategies; and implications and strategies for policy and advocacy resulting from this model of care. According to the Center, the combined articles make the case that it is possible to create true "oral health homes" for underserved individuals using 21st century technology and collaboration systems now available.

"A lot of people inside of Pacific and many community partners outside of Pacific have worked for years to establish the Virtual Dental Home model," said Glassman. "We have now arrived at the point where we have clearly demonstrated that we can deliver oral health services through this community-based, geographically distributed, teleheath facilitated, prevention and early intervention-focused system of care in urban and rural sites and in populations that span the age spectrum."

"The next phase of work for us is to demonstrate that this system can improve access to care in a way that lowers overall health costs for underserved populations and to use this information to address current regulatory barriers," he added. "It has been gratifying to see that the Virtual Dental Home system is gathering support from organized dental associations in California as dentists are learning that this system can allow them to expand their practices and still remain at the head of a distributed team, and allied personnel are realizing their potential to make a difference in the lives of people who often experience significant challenges taking advantage of the traditional dental care delivery system."

The entire July 2012 issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association is available for download at http://www.cda.org/publications/journal_of_the_california_dental_association/.

Category Type: Dental Issues and Research

Contact:  Office of Public Relations, 415.929.6434, pr@pacific.edu