Research & Policy Briefs Oral Health

Children’s Dental Strategic Plan for Humboldt County

The North Coast Grantmaking Partnership contracted with the California Center for Rural Policy to create a new dental strategic plan. Several factors led to this request. The Pediatric Dental Institute (PDI) in Windsor reported in spring 2011 that 142 children from Humboldt used their services at their clinic with full anesthesia (called hospital based care) within the prior year. PDI is currently facing economical challenges and now must raise $400,000 each year to continue. There is interest to reduce the number of children from Humboldt that need hospital based dental care. This very intensive and expensive treatment process is an indicator of missed opportunities for oral health education, preventive services, and early restoration. Consequently, to change the number of children needing this service, every aspect of oral health for low-income children should be reviewed and integrated into a smooth continuum of evidence-based care and education.