May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


Policy Center Updates

July 2016 Volume LI Number 4

New Technical Brief Now Available

Competition or Collaboration: Exploring the Relationship Between Corporate Dentistry and Dental Training Programs

A new technical brief from the Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center examines how dental schools and dental service organizations can reap the benefits of working together in collaborative programs not only to provide needed treatment to financially disadvantaged children, but to introduce dental students to such corporate environment resources as data management, marketing and business strategies. Drs. Anupama Tate, Janice Townsend and Tegwyn Brickhouse served as co-authors on the brief.

Check out the new brief by visiting the POHRPC webpage at

Caries, Calories, and Kids: Surveys with Pediatric Dentists and General Dentists Completed

Through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center conducted a national survey to discover the attitudes, skills and practices of AAPD members related to reducing the consumption of sugarsweetened beverages in patients ages 0 – 12 and preventing childhood obesity. A similar survey was administered to general dentists through the Academy of General Dentistry during May and June. The results will be presented at a meeting of oral health shareholders on Nov. 3 – 4, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

Harris Fellowship Recipient Announced

Erica Caffrey, D.D.S., was awarded the 2016-2017 Samuel D. Harris Research and Policy Fellowship sponsored by Preventech at the AAPD General Assembly on May 29, 2016. As this year’s Harris Fellow, Caffrey will work with the Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center to complete a project in health policy and present the findings of her research at the 2017 Annual Session in Washington, D.C.

Caffrey graduated from the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2013, where she received the AAPD Predoctoral Student Award for outstanding promise in the field of pediatric dentistry. In 2015, she completed her specialty training in the pediatric dentistry residency program at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. It was during this rigorous hospital program that she became acutely aware of the many challenges facing vulnerable populations and providers in establishing and maintaining optimal oral health. Now in private practice, Caffrey hopes to be an active member of the pediatric dental community and advocate for those children most in need of care. She is deeply committed to improving access to and quality of care for all children and to contributing to the growing body of research on public policies related to children’s oral health care.

AAPD Visibility Built Through Meeting Representation

National Oral Health Conference on April 17 – 20, 2016, in Cincinnati, Ohio, sponsored by the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors and American Association of Public Health Dentistry. Dr. Paul Casamassimo presented information on the Policy Center’s research project of medically specific factors that correlate to caries risk in young children.

Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, April 30-May 3, 2016, Baltimore, Maryland. Mrs. Leola Royston presented a research poster on the Policy Center’s DentaQuest project. This meeting brings together thousands of pediatricians and other health care providers united by a common mission, which is to improve the health and well-being of children worldwide.

American Academy of Physician Assistants Conference, May 14-18, 2016, San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Patrick Killeen and Mrs. Leola Royston gave a 30-minute presentation on the DentaQuest project during the Research in Action section of the conference. They gained additional visibility for the research project by participating in an e-poster session for attendees.

Policy Center Continues Research on Medical Factors Associated with Caries Risk

The AAPD Policy Center was granted another year of funding from the DentaQuest Foundation for its research project, "Interprofessional Study of Oral Health in Primary Care: Common Risk Factor Study II."

During the 2016 phase of the study, we are further validating medical factors identified in 2015 as correlating to caries risk – as well as exploring other potentially significant variables – through an analysis of electronic medical and dental records of additional US child populations. In addition, a caries-prediction tool will be pilot tested at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. A caries-risk assessment based on information routinely gathered from well-baby visits means that oral health promotion and necessary dental referrals may be delivered more efficiently by primary care providers.

The next steps toward improving provider adherence to oral health screening at well-child visits are to incorporate these variables into a new medically specific caries-risk assessment tool within the electronic health record. Such a tool carries the potential to further engage primary care medical providers in oral health promotion and encourage needed referrals to a dental home. Earlier oral health screenings, prompting more referrals of young children to a dental home, will help provide access to preventive dental services to those children most at risk for dental problems. Research investigators are excited about the implications this type of tool could have on improving the overall health of children.

Visit the POHRPC website at to view the full Year Two Report.

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