Blende Dental Group Thrilled to Participate in the International Association for Disability and Oral Health Conference in Paris
From August 23 to 26, the 26th conference of the International Association for Disability and Oral Health (iADH) takes place in Paris. “The rights of vulnerable populations to achieve an equitable standard of oral health are increasingly enshrined and we hope to showcase examples of best practice and scientific evidence to make this premise a reality worldwide,” the iADH said in announcing the event. Treating patients with special needs is a cornerstone of our practice at the Blende Dental Group, home of the House Call Dentists. Our participation in the iADH conference not only upholds our ongoing commitment to supporting these underserved and underrepresented populations, but empowers us to collaborate with a community of other experts to learn, share, spread awareness, and enhance the care we provide.
Scientific, Educational, and Specialized Oral Health Focus
The scientific content covered in the conference will include all aspects of Special Care Dentistry, with a concentration on pediatric dentistry, gerodontology, restorative dentistry, oral medicine, dental public health, prosthetic dentistry, implantology, oral surgery, periodontology, sedation, teledentistry, multidisciplinary car, and much more.
The event will also highlight broader topics associated with Special Care Dentistry, including education, ethics, political lobbying, and disability representation and inclusion. These areas are particularly relevant in helping to solve the growing problems we discussed in our July article, “People with Special Needs Are Facing a Growing But Seldom Discussed Oral Health Crisis.”
States across the nation are confronting serious challenges in protecting the oral health of patients with special needs. In Wisconsin, a team of investigative journalists discovered that special needs patients in the area languished on waiting lists for years to receive dental care that required “crucial in-house or hospitalized sedation.”
Oral health is instrumental to overall physical health and quality of life. Without a network of dentists trained in advanced sedation modalities and in treating people with special needs, the dental problems of an already underserved population will continue to exacerbate. In response, the budget passed by the state legislature appropriated $2.5 million to “increase payments for dentists providing dental care to people with cognitive or physical disabilities who needed anesthesia during care.”
Other states are also experiencing similar issues. For example, tens of thousands of Californians with disabilities require special accommodations for dental care, but only a limited number of centers in the state can treat them. Traditional dentists outside of these specialized facilities lack the training and tools to care for the special needs population. A typical dental office cannot perform general anesthesia, nor are its teams or facilities equipped to handle patients with specific behavioral, physical, or cognitive challenges.
California Dental Association (CDA) president Ariane Terlet called the situation “untenable.” As in Wisconsin, advocates in California are imploring state lawmakers to include funding in the budget for developing solutions to alleviate this growing oral health crisis. The CDA has requested $50 million to be allocated for these purposes.
Addressing the problem and developing solutions are tasks not solved by dentists alone; they require visibility, legislative action, political engagement, and advocacy. Associations such as the iADH are dedicated to these causes and help fulfill the wider mission of bringing care to those with special needs. We at the Blende Dental Group are proud to participate in the conference and support the iADH.
About the iADH
The International Association for Disability and Oral Health “is a global organization with over 8,000 members from all sectors of health and social care interested in disability and oral health.”
Since 1970, iADH has hosted a biennial congress that provides members from all over the world with an opportunity to assemble in one place to share their scientific knowledge and collective experience for improving oral health outcomes for people with disabilities.
“Quality of healthcare is a key component of the route to equity and dignity for people with disabilities and disadvantages,” iADH President Alison Dougall said. “Quality care has to be based on scientific knowledge and evidence-based guidelines and we anticipate that the 26th iADH conference will offer a phenomenal international scientific program with world-class keynote speakers and a showcase of the best available research in Special Care Dentistry.”
About the Blende Dental Group, Home of the House Call Dentists
Over 61 million people in the United States live with special needs, including 7 million children. Yet as we’ve seen, these individuals go without proper oral care given the lack of dentists who have the specialized skills, training, and capabilities to serve these unique patients. It’s important to understand that you and your loved ones can get the care you need through in-home care, facilitated by advances in mobile dentistry, and the evolution of sleep and sedation options. This has been the hallmark of the Blende Dental Group. We have devoted our practice to supporting the under-supported.
Patients with special needs require a level of care above and beyond what can be provided in a conventional dental office. This is why 60% of our disabled patients are referred to us by other providers. The category of special needs encompasses a broad population of individuals with unique circumstances. Some are homebound seniors, some are children, some experience severe anxiety or phobia, some have physical or cognitive challenges, and others live with complex medical conditions that make dental care difficult to obtain.
The Blende Dental Group is one of the few practices that is qualified to treat those with special needs. And we’ve been doing it for more than 20 years. Our dentists are longstanding and active members of the American Academy for Persons with Disabilities. They lecture nationally on special needs dentistry. Our genuine compassion for the person, understanding of their disability, and grasp of its possible complications form the core of our care. Our teams are licensed to treat special needs patients in our offices, at a hospital, or even in their homes through its House Call Dentists practice.
“Here at Blende Dental, our mission has been to help people who need dental care and give them the dental care that they deserve,” Dr. David Blende said. “That’s why our at-home service is so important. We provide care for the underserved, people who can’t leave home. Our mission is to break that barrier that keeps people from receiving dental care: geriatric and assisted living, the physically disabled, and people with cognitive disabilities.”