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The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the American Dental Association (ADA) have called upon Congress to put more funding into the oral health research budget.
Speaking to a House appropriations panel on behalf of the AADR, Dr. Marc Heft explained that research is advancing quickly and that research monies were needed in the areas of saliva-based diagnostic tests for oral and other cancers, cardiovascular diseases and systemic conditions to be researched by scientists at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Dental scientists have said that money needs to be set aside - one million dollars each year - to tackling the problem of early childhood dental problems in disadvantaged areas such as in Native American communities in a program set up by the ADA.
The three-year grant would research and conduct clinical studies on early childhood caries along with the Indian Health Service.
He explained that the AADR's proposed diagnostic tests could not only improve the dental health of Americans but prevent and detect early symptoms of serious conditions with a simple trip to the dentist.
"Imagine getting results from a test for oral cancer or systemic diseases without a two- or three-day wait, or going to the dentist for a mineral-restoring rinse instead of getting a filling. We would not only improve Americans' quality of life but save lives and better utilize the valuable resources currently burdening our health care system," he said.
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