Oral Health Reports

First Things First: Taking a Bite Out of the School Absences, Children’s Oral Health Report 2016

This report shows that investing in prevention and early intervention can significantly improve oral health for Arizona’s youngest children, thus reducing the likelihood that oral health problems will impact their school attendance or performance. As one of the principle funders of oral health prevention and early intervention for children birth to 5, First Things First’s investments in communities statewide clearly have contributed to this marked improvement.

While more children in Arizona are receiving dental services and fewer have untreated tooth decay, more work needs to be done. To reduce the percentage of children with decay experience, Arizona must expand access to preventive dental services and parent/caregiver education, with an emphasis on reaching the youngest and most vulnerable children. To reduce the percentage of children with untreated decay, early childhood system partners must work collectively to increase 7 access to dental care by educating parents, caregivers, and early care providers on the importance of early dental visits, developing systems that support early screening and referral, and expanding the workforce providing dental care to Arizona’s youngest children. The results presented here should form the foundation for on-going community discussion on how early childhood partners leverage successes and resources of individual communities to overcome the on-going challenges that threaten the oral health of Arizona’s youngest children.

Full Report: FTF Oral Health Report 2016


Arizona Tribal Oral Health Legislative Forum Final Report

On August 27-28, 2015, the Arizona American Indian Oral Health Initiative (AAIOHI) and the Advisory Council on Indian Health Care (ACOIHC), with the support and funding from the DentaQuest Foundation, hosted the  Arizona Tribal Oral Health Legislative Forum at the Twin Arrows Casino Resort in Flagstaff, Arizona. The purpose of the forum was to strengthen public policy and legislative engagement in Arizona specific to the American Indian population, to increase participation of tribes in the legislative process and to provide advocacy resources to improve oral health outcomes in the areas of oral health workforce development, health care coverage, and prevention.

Key Recommendations for Oral Health Workforce Development

  1. Support Education and Training of American Indians as Dental Providers
  2. Strengthen the Oral Health Care Delivery Model
  3. Expand the Types of Oral Health Service Practitioners
  4. Improve Recruitment and Retention of Oral Health Providers

Key Recommendations for Oral Health Care Coverage

  1. Expand Medicaid Dental Coverage to Adults
  2. Improve Dental Insurance Literacy
  3. Increase Revenue Generating Opportunities
  4. Cover (Fund) Oral Health Literacy for Other Health Care Providers

Key Recommendations for Preventative Oral Health

  1. Fund Preventative Oral Health Services
  2. Increase Oral Health Literacy
  3. Provide School Based Services

Final Arizona Tribal Oral Health Legislative Forum Report 2015

Reducing Oral Health Disparities: A Focus on Social and Cultural Determinants

Authors: Donald I, Patrick, Rosanna Shuk Yin Lee, Miechle Nucci et al.

Oral health is essential to the general health and well-being of individuals and the population. Yet significant oral health disparities persist in the U.S. population because of a web of influences that include complex cultural and social processes that affect both oral health and access to effective dental health care.
This paper introduces an organizing framework for addressing oral health disparities. We present and discuss how the multiple influences on oral health and oral health disparities operate using this framework. Interventions targeted at different causal pathways bring new directions and implications for research and policy in reducing oral health disparities. Read more Reducing Oral Health Disparities


Administrative Barriers for Private Practice Dentists to Accepting AHCCCS-Enrolled Native Americans into their Practice

Report Date: January 2014  Author: Richard A. Champany, DDS, MPH

  • Native American children in Arizona suffer from tooth decay more than the U.S. population in general and slightly more than Native Americans in New Mexico.
  • More Native American children have all their dental treatment completed in New Mexico than in Arizona.
  • Indian Health Service clinics, the federal health care provider for Native Americans, are underfunded and cannot treat all beneficiaries
  • More dentists in the Navajo Reservation border towns in New Mexico accept Medicaid than in the border towns within Arizona
  • Medicaid Barriers Read More…

First Status Report on the Formation of the AAIOHI Statewide Coalition

Report Date: August 2012

Arizona American Indian Oral Health Initiative status report on the formation of a statewide coalition. In April 2012, an historic statewide Arizona American Indian Oral Health Summit was held. Participants included tribal leaders, government and community-based agencies and organizations, and oral health advocates, left that meeting with a shared commitment to improve the oral health, and thus the overall health, of American Indians of all ages throughout the state of Arizona. This report tells the story of what happened and what steps will be taken to go from here to achieve the vision of optimal oral health for all American Indians in Arizona.  The Statewide Planning Committee if the Arizona American Indian Oral Health Initiative hopes that this report will increase your awareness of the efforts that have been undertaken to-date and motivate you to join in this important undertaking…AAIOHI Status Report Read More…