DentaQuest Institute and National Collaborative are Working to End Early Childhood Caries
Oral health professionals from across the country came together in Denver October 6-8 for Learning Session 3 (LS3) of the Early Childhood Caries (ECC) Collaborative, hosted by the DentaQuest Institute.
Denver, CO—(October, 2014) -- Oral health professionals from across the country came together in Denver October 6-8 for Learning Session 3 (LS3) of the Early Childhood Caries (ECC) Collaborative, hosted by the DentaQuest Institute. Over 80 oral health professionals from 32 hospitals, community health centers, and private practices in 17 states participated in LS3. Phase III of the ECC Collaborative started in October, 2013.
Dental caries (cavities) is one of the most common diseases of childhood. It is five times more common than asthma. Early Childhood Caries (extreme dental disease in infants and pre-school children) is a public health problem. Disadvantaged children, regardless of race, ethnicity or culture are most vulnerable.
Dental caries can be arrested and reversed if caught in the earliest stages. If there is no intervention, the disease progresses until the tooth is destroyed. The disease is often not detected until it is well established. Treatment typically involves surgical intervention in the operating room. Recurrence of the infection in other teeth is common.
The DentaQuest Institute, in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital and the St. Joseph Health Services and Hospital, began studying opportunities to arrest and reverse the disease process using disease management and education protocols common in chronic disease management.
That work led to the ECC Collaborative, a learning experience that has been engaging dentists, pediatricians, oral surgeons, educators and community health workers in developing and testing best practices for managing chronic caries infections in at-risk infants and pre-school children. The Collaborative is focused on reducing new cavitation, reducing pain and reducing operating room utilization in children ages 0-5.
Each participating organization has formed a dedicated improvement team that is focused on implementing the disease management protocol that includes a caries risk assessment, effective communication with parents and patients, self-management goals, and recall intervals based on caries risk. The ECC Collaborative Learning Sessions are opportunities for all participants to critique their quality improvement methodologies and reinforce opportunities to test and implement changes that accelerate adoption of this disease management approach. The goal is better outcomes for children.
During LS3, Collaborative participants engaged in discussions on Using Data for Improvement, Engaging the Entire Care Team, Remineralizing Modalities, Interim Therapeutic Restorations (ITR) and Sealants, Implementation and Spread, and Effective Communication and Motivational Interviewing. Upon leaving LS3, participants will take this new knowledge, together with experience, and work to spread the disease management protocol to additional providers and clinics to impact children nationwide.
The DentaQuest Institute is a not-for-profit organization focused on improving efficiency, effectiveness and quality in dental care. Through its work to align clinical practice with science-based research, the DentaQuest Institute is helping oral health professionals find new ways to partner with patients to prevent and manage oral diseases. This work ensures patients get the right care, at the right time, with the right outcome. The DentaQuest Institute is an affiliate of DentaQuest, a leading U.S. oral health enterprise.