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The American Dental Association (ADA) announced this week that it will collaborate with Temple University in Philadelphia on a program designed to improve dental care in underserved communities.
Participating dentists, called Community Dental Health Coordinators (CDHC) will provide services like screenings and fluoride treatments in areas where residents have limited access to dental facilities.
In addition, the new program will strive to help direct patients through the healthcare system and provide educational materials to foster dental health.
Temple University will recruit and train CDHCs from urban communities in Philadelphia over the next two years and return them to their neighborhoods to join the team of a licensed dentist.
"Our aim is to ensure that the coordinator is able to bridge the gap between local cultures and healthcare systems," said ADA President Ron Tankersley.
He added, "The program can help patients navigate the social and bureaucratic barriers that prevent them from gaining access to available dental health services."
According to the Mayo Clinic, cavities can form when an individual eats and drinks sugary foods and beverages. Though these dental health burdens can lead to tooth loss, they can be avoided by visiting the dentist regularly and brushing twice a day.
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