Monthly Hot Topic

Putting Oral Health Back in the Picture

Dentistry has evolved apart from the rest of health care. The separation is not just in care delivery, financing and education; it is so systemic that the health services research community rarely investigates dental care issues, and many health professions’ leadership programs omit dental care providers. There are important historical reasons for this separation, but in today’s health care landscape the split is increasingly detrimental for the health and well-being of patients. Learn More »

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leadership highlight

The Virtual Dental Home: Using Technology and Staffing Innovation to Expand Access to Care


I have always been interested in the boundaries between science and humanity, and health care is a place where those things come together. One of my most important projects is the Virtual Dental Home. Like the medical home, the dental home is a system where care is coordinated to provide the patient with all the services he or she needs to stay healthy. The emphasis is on prevention, health promotion, and education so that patients only get surgery when they need it.

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Shaking up the dental safety-net: elimination of optional adult dental Medicaid benefits in California

Author: Elizabeth Mertz, Sonia Rab Alam, Cynthia Wides

In July 2009, California eliminated funding for most adult non-emergency Medicaid dental benefits (Denti-Cal). This paper presents the findings from a qualitative assessment of the impacts of the Denti-Cal cuts on California's oral health safety-net.