Academic dental institutions are the fundamental underpinning of the nation’s oral health. Education, research, and patient care are the cornerstones of academic dentistry that form the foundation upon which the dental profession rises to provide care to the public. The oral health status of Americans has improved dramatically over the past twenty-five to thirty years. In his 2000 report on oral health, the Surgeon General acknowledges the success of the dental profession in improving the oral health status of Americans over the past twenty-five years, but he also juxtaposes this success to profound and consequential disparities in the oral health of Americans. In 2002, the American Dental Education Association brought together an ADEA President’s Commission of national experts to explore the roles and responsibilities of academic dental institutions in improving the oral health status of all Americans. They have issued this report and made a variety of policy recommendations, including a Statement of Position, to the 2003 ADEA House of Delegates. The commission’s work will help guide ADEA in such areas as: identifying barriers to oral health care, providing guiding principles for academic dental institutions, anticipating workforce needs, and improving access through a diverse workforce and the types of oral health providers, including full utilization of allied dental professionals and collaborations with colleagues from medicine.
Citation: Haden NK, Catalanotto FA, Alexander CJ, et al. Improving the oral health status of all Americans: roles and responsibilities of academic dental institutions: the report of the ADEA President’s Commission. J Dent Educ. 2003;67(5):563-83.