Resources from the Michigan Caries Prevention Program
Since 2014, the Michigan Caries Prevention Program (MCPP) has been transforming the current oral health landscape with comprehensive oral health integration in the primary care setting. Altarum Institute, in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Delta Dental of Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, is improving care coordination and delivery of oral health services across both medical and dental settings to improve access and reduce the burden of oral health disease for more than 1 million publicly-insured children. Through primary care provider training, innovative technology, and community engagement, the MCPP is making strides in increasing the delivery of preventive oral health services, including fluoride varnish and screenings, among children in Michigan and beyond.
A key strategy of MCPP is providing primary care providers with the training and support tools necessary to implement preventive oral health services during well-child visits. The MCPP offers comprehensive in-person and remote training, technical assistance, and Smiles for Life certification to primary care providers (i.e., pediatricians, family medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) and clinical staff, aligned with AAP recommendations. To date, the MCPP has trained 1,500 primary care physicians, including 483 residents, plus clinical support staff, impacting over 400,000 children in Michigan.
In addition, the MCPP has developed a first-of-its-kind statewide children’s oral health registry called Michigan’s Dental Registry (MiDR℠). MiDR℠ also serves as a dental referral management tool aimed at facilitating communication and care coordination between primary care clinicians and dentists. This innovative technology increases the transparency between medical and dental communities, tracking preventive oral health services provided and enabling patient referrals to a dental home.
To foster access to care beyond the clinical setting, the MCPP is also pioneering a new oral health tool to bring resources to those who need it most in an effort called SmileConnect®. SmileConnect® is available for schools, early childhood organizations, and child care programs nationwide to help connect children in these settings with dental resources and services. Educators can go to SmileConnect.org®, post a request, and SmileConnect® will connect them to volunteers that can help. In less than a year, SmileConnect® has expanded across 19 states and now has 29 dental and dental hygiene schools with a volunteer base bringing oral health education, preventive services, and resources to children throughout the country.
Through this multifaceted approach, the MCPP aims to produce a system wide transformation, resulting in lasting effects for years to come. To learn more about the Michigan Caries Prevention Program and its components, please visit their website at MITeeth.org, call 1-844-4-MITEETH (1-844-464-8338), or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.