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Greetings.  This is the inaugural edition of the South Dakota Oral Health Coalition's electronic newsletter.  Future newsletters will be sent quarterly (or more often if there is something newsworthy to share). The purpose of the newsletter is to share information about projects and events impacting oral health in South Dakota.  You are receiving this publication as a member of the Coalition and we encourage you to suggest news items you would like to see in the newsletter.  If you don't want to receive future versions of the newsletter please use the "unsubscribe" feature at the bottom.

Prevention and Education

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has a new Web site which features oral health on the page:http://www.hrsa.gov/publichealth/clinical/oralhealth/maternalchild.html

The page has links on the left navigation bar to resources on workforce, women and children, and people with HIV/AIDS; and a button on the right to help consumers find oral health care.

If you follow the link to the page about women and children, you will see descriptions of MCHB-funded programs and materials and links to the MCHB-funded National Maternal and Child Oral Health Policy Center and the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center.

Access to Dental Care

Native American Oral Health
by Paul Knecht 

How to help improve the oral health of Native Americans in our state has been a question nagging at the Oral Health Coalition since its inception.  While things are improving due to an increase in dentists employed by the IHS and the ongoing presence of Delta Dental's mobile dental units, it is obvious to members of the Coalition that we will never "drill and fill" our way out of oral health disparities faced by Native Americans.  So, we are trying a new appoach - learn what the tribes want to do to improve the oral health of their people.  With the help of some funding from the American Dental Association, the South Dakota Dental Association (SDDA) has hired a consultant to help us begin a dialog with the Native American community about oral health.  Her name is Chastity Jewett, she is from Rapid City. 
Click here if you would like to review her work plan for this project.


Careers in Dentistry: Something to Smile About! by Halley Lee 
Did you know that more people use blue toothbrushes than red? Did you know that the average woman smiles 62 times each day…. the average man, only 5? Did you know that 73% of Americans would rather grocery shop than floss? Did you also know that according to the 2009 Gallup poll, dentists were the 6th most trusted profession in America? All fun aside, a career in the oral health field continues to be in demand not only in the United States, but in South Dakota as well. 
The demographics of South Dakotans are changing rapidly. By 2025, South Dakota is projected to have the 9th highest proportion of elderly in the Nation. The numbers of residents age 65 and over will double by 2025.   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “many members of the baby-boom generation will need complicated dental work. In addition, elderly people are more likely to retain their teeth than were their predecessors, so they will require much more care than in the past. The younger generation will continue to need preventive checkups despite an overall increase in the dental health of the public over the last few decades.” 
As the demographics of South Dakota change considerably, dentistry continues to be an attractive career for many students in the State.   Projected need among dentists in the US is expected to grow by 16% between 2008 and 2018.   In response to an increased need for healthcare providers in the State, the Department of Health has been spearheading the South Dakota Healthcare Workforce Initiative. Part of this Initiative is an effort to increase students’ awareness of the wide variety of health careers that are available to them, including occupations in the oral health field. A recent new partnership with the South Dakota Area Health Education Center (AHEC) has produced fun, student-friendly fact sheets. The fact sheets are available at http://healthcareers.sd.gov/HOTTCareerTrends.aspx. These fact sheets can be used when working with students to pique their interest in a career in dentistry and its related careers.
 It’s been noted that certain cheeses have been found to protect teeth from decay. I think in South Dakota, we can work together to encourage students to pursue careers in oral health to subsequently prevent decay and leave the cheese to the mice! As you work to interest students in oral health careers, keep in mind the wide variety of resources available to you. For additional resources and assistance in this area, contact the South Dakota Healthcare Workforce Center at 605.773.6320.     

*        Fun Fact sources:

· http://www.dentalgentlecare.com/fun_dental_facts.htm

· http://www.fulcherorthodontics.com/dentalfun.html


eNews is a convenient and cost-effective method to share timely information with Coalition members. The information found in eNews is provided by Coalition members. Members wanting to share information should  email their stories  or news items to Paul Knecht at paul@sddental.org.

Editor: Paul Knecht

South Dakota Dental Association
804 N Euclid, Ste. 103 
  PO Box 1194    Pierre SD 57501
Telephone: 605-224-9133 
  Email: paul@sddental.org    Website: www.sddental.org

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