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The AHCA won’t change dental care – under MN legislation, the poor already struggle to get care

Earlier this month, House Republicans publicly released their Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement: the American Health Care Act (AHCA). While the plan is currently just a proposal, it has many wondering how it could change the shape of our health care landscape. Sheila Riggs, D.D.S., M.S., D.M.Sc., associate professor in the School of Dentistry, explains how it could impact dental care.

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In the news: lack of access to dental care remains problem in Minnesota

For many, quality, affordable, access to dental care can be difficult to find.  A 2013 gallup poll found that one-third of American adults didn’t even see a dentist over the course of the year.

An estimated 1,500 patients received care they wouldn’t be able to normally afford or access this weekend in Duluth through “Missions of Mercy,” a service event where dentists provide free services to the public.  Many UMN School of Dentistry faculty and students volunteered.

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Dental Therapy: Good news for Minnesota safety net clinics

Dental therapy, the newest oral healthcare profession in Minnesota, has firm roots in the state’s safety net clinics, found new research from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

Findings from the study indicate dental therapists are being used in innovative and diverse ways, allowing the dental therapy profession to continue to evolve in the way it addresses specific oral health care needs.

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Dental Therapy: Filling the gaps in dental disparities

The next time you’re in a dental office, there’s a chance your clinician might say, “Hi, I’m the dental therapist who will be working with you today.” More of these providers are entering the market each year thanks to innovative programs like the one found at the University of Minnesota. As a result, more and more Minnesotans are getting exposed to dental therapists.

But some patients still have questions around what a dental therapist actually is and the type of work they’re licensed to perform. Here’s some quick background.

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U of M researchers lead development of first evidence-based diagnostic criteria for TMD

The first evidence-based diagnostic criteria has been developed to help health professionals better diagnose temporomandibular disorders (TMD), a group of often-painful jaw conditions that affect an estimated 10 to 15 percent of Americans. The international effort was led by the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

The Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (DC/TMD), developed by a collaborative team of researchers in North America, Europe and Australia, are professional recommendations on how best to detect and assess jaw joint (TMJ) and jaw muscle problems – as well as headaches related to TMD.

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Managing summer dental emergencies

Few disruptions can derail a summer vacation faster than a dental emergency.

A slip on a wet dock, a careless swing of a wiffleball bat, an errant elbow in a pickup basketball game – any or all could result in a tooth being knocked out.

No less unpredictable, tooth pain can come seemingly out of nowhere and can be agonizing. Worse, some dental pain may actually signal a more urgent issue like an infection or abscess.

Yet if a dental emergency presents itself and you’re an hour (or more) away from your dentist, what’s a person to do?

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