Keeping Douglas County healthy, one dental checkup at a time
Good dental health is about more than just a radiant smile. The mouth is the entry point to the digestive and respiratory tracts and is where bacteria is introduced into the system. It’s the window to the health of the whole body.
Advantage Dental, as both a Dental Care Organization and dental delivery system, is serious about its mission: To improve the oral health of all and is providing residents of Southern Oregon with whole-body health through better dental care. A partnership with Umpqua Health Alliance is helping deliver quality oral care in a model Advantage Dental calls Preventistry®.
Its goal is simple: Promote better dental health in rural communities by providing accessible services and building community partnerships. It combines care, education and access to ensure Southern Oregon families receive the best dental care and makes sure no one misses work or school because of a toothache or other dental problems.
Advantage Dental was founded in Roseburg in 1994 and today serves more than 27,000 Oregon Health Plan members in the Umpqua Health Alliance region of Southern Oregon through dentists, hygienists and other providers. It has 10 primary care offices in the region, made up of five Advantage Dental from DentaQuest offices and five contracted provider offices. In addition to primary care offices, Advantage Dental has a robust network of specialty providers in the region.
Umpqua Health supports Advantage Dental’s mission by advocating for greater oral health access and care coordination, and by connecting Advantage Dental to training and resources to further its mission.
Advantage Dental deploys a team of Community Care hygienists, in collaboration with the Mercy Foundations Healthy Kids Outreach Program to local schools, Head Start classrooms and WIC offices, with a focus on reaching children. Instead of waiting until a cavity or other ailment becomes painful, these programs prioritize preventative services such as fluoride and sealants to reduce drilling and extractions.
Meeting the needs of a rural population isn’t always easy. Recruiting and retaining employees in the medical field can be difficult, and this includes dental professionals. The Advantage Dental from DentaQuest offices have two programs that help attract dentists.
The first is an incentive program that includes in-house loan repayment assistance and sign-on bonuses that attract high-quality providers. The Advantage Dental from DentaQuest offices also hire traveling dentists who practice for extended periods in places experiencing shortages.
The other is teledentistry, which is available in Sutherlin, Roseburg Medical Park and Roseburg Harvard Advantage Dental from DentaQuest offices. When a local dentist isn’t available, residents can connect remotely to receive an exam or consultation with a dentist, while continuing to receive preventive dental hygiene services on-site.
Between these two programs, having offices across the region and a 24/7 emergency call system, access to dental care is both timely and effective.
A TIP FROM THE EXPERTS:
Holidays are full of sweet treats, but drinking lots of water keeps sugar and bacteria from lingering in your mouth. Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day also keeps your mouth and the rest of your body healthy.
Holiday school breaks are also a good time to schedule an appointment for sealants, exams and cleanings.