16
June
2011
|
09:09 PM
America/New_York

Sonrie!

Oral care in the United States is undergoing many significant changes. One of these is the exciting growth in the number of Hispanic dental practitioners and patients.

I just returned from the Hispanic Dental Association’s Annual (HDA) Roundtable in Plano, TX where I had the privilege of representing DentaQuest. HDA is a rapidly growing organization and the growth is expected to continue well into the 21st century. That’s a good thing because some experts are projecting a U.S. population that will soon be 40% Hispanic. Being able to talk to patients in a way that respects their culture and background is so important in providing the right care, at the right time, so we make a real impact.

The Hispanic Dental Association is playing a major role in building leadership for Hispanic oral health professionals during this time of change and it, like DentaQuest, is focused on prevention, treatment and education. DentaQuest and the DentaQuest Foundation are proud to support their work in improving oral health in the Hispanic population.

It was good to hear about the plans, concerns, needs and passion for dentistry among the member dentists. Several chapter presidents are DentaQuest providers. For me, this was an opportunity to explain the many facets of the DentaQuest enterprise’s commitment to improving oral health – our benefit programs, philanthropy, and clinical care improvement projects. I talked about the work we are doing to support dentists and their patients, to make participating in our networks easier, and to make sure oral health providers can deliver the best care outcomes. The dentists at the Roundtable were very interested in DentaQuest’s dental home project, our broken appointment project, and the many ways our website makes their work easier.

The dentists I met are enthusiastic champions for good oral health. They are hopeful that we will continue to support their meetings with our presence and are anxious to work with the DentaQuest Institute to improve cultural competency at the practice level. I believe that we have a very effective partnership developing. But for any effort like this to truly be successful we will need the partnership to extend to patients as well. Patients can and should play an important role. I’d like to hear from you on your thoughts.