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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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5 tips for healthy oral hygiene in kids

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. To celebrate the occasion, we spoke with Elise Sarvas, D.D.S., M.P.H., a board certified pediatric dentist and clinical assistant professor at the School of Dentistry, to get some tips and tricks parents can follow to ensure their child’s pearly whites stay healthy.

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RWJF “Clinical Scholars” team invests in education to improve oral health for MN kids with special health care needs

An interprofessional trio of University of Minnesota healthcare providers have been selected for a 3-year cohort of Clinical Scholars, a new national leadership program through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Through the program, the team will explore and work to address gaps in dental care for children with special health care needs in Minnesota.

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Why does my breath stink?

It’s date night. You stay away from garlic and onions at dinner, and pop a mint to be safe, but you’re convinced there’s a funky smell lingering on your breath. In fact, it seems like your breath leans towards cringe-worthy more often than not. Is something more going on inside the mouth?

Possibly, says Patricia Lenton, M.A., director of the Oral Health Research Clinic at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Her research expertise is in breath odor.

While dietary choices can play a role in breath odor, she says bacteria are usually to blame.

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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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A dentist’s role in oral cancer treatment

Open wide!

Each trip to the dentist helps spot and treat cavities, clean teeth, provide preventative treatments like sealants, and seek out signs of gum disease. But many don’t realize it is a cancer screening, too.

“A routine dental exam is vital for maintaining good oral health, and it’s also the best method for detecting oral cancer in its early stages,” says Mark Roettger, D.D.S., Clinic Director of the University of Minnesota Dental Clinic. “Dentists have the primary role in oral cancer detection because we work most closely with the mouth, and inspect it most thoroughly.”

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