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The Massachusetts Dental Society has proposed a plan to emphasize the role of dental health in healthcare policy by 2013. The plan has three broad goals: Pointing out the link between dental health and overall health, improved access to dental care and better prevention.
Dr Robert E. Boose, executive director of the MDS, pointed out to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette that over the last few decades, research has shown repeatedly strong links between dental health and overall health. Dental disease has been linked to heart disease, lung disease and some cancers.
"If the eyes are the window to the soul, then where does the mouth fit in?" asks the MDS website, answering that, "the mouth is, in fact, the window to your overall health".
The Call to Action plan provides for making dental exams a requirement for school admission and argues for the creation of a new dental care role, the "public health dental hygienist" - something akin to a nurse practitioner, but one focused on dentistry.
The plan also discusses ways to improve access for those who do not have dental insurance.
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