St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota Dental Association and the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition are proud to host the second annual Oral Health Showcase once again, an exhibit of oral health programs and organizations. The event is scheduled to take place Monday February 8, 2021. Replacing the Minnesota State Capitol as the venue of choice, the Oral Health Showcase will occur in a virtual platform. The Showcase is an opportunity to bring awareness of the importance of oral health, and to “showcase” several of Minnesota’s oral health organizations and dental clinics. The nearly twenty participating organizations represent four focus areas: Racial and health equity, rural oral health, workforce, and tele-dentistry.
“We knew the Oral Health Showcase was a vastly different and innovative approach to communicating with lawmakers when held at the capitol last year,” expressed Nancy Franke Wilson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition, “and now that we are taking that model to a virtual platform just shows the creativity and commitment of our dental community.”
For example, Children’s Dental Services and Apple Tree Dental are national leaders in tele-dentistry. During the Oral Health Showcase, they will educate legislators on how tele-dentistry reduces costs, increases access, and provides an enhanced oral health care experience regardless of weather or COVID-19 concerns. Our rural oral health providers will share their unique approach to patient care which includes providing transportation as well as access to social services. Our workforce group which includes the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Health, and the Early Childhood Dental Network, will address dental assistant and other professional shortages, as well as dental education. Our philanthropic partners will address racial and health equity and how their giving programs strengthen our Critical Access Dental (CAD) Providers and special dental care events. A sample of other organizations include the Northern Dental Access Center, Mission of Mercy, Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, and Mayo Clinic.
Minnesota currently ranks at the bottom of the pack, 49th of the 50 states, when it comes to the Medicaid payment rate for pediatric dental services. Unfortunately, we’re not doing much better when it comes to helping adults’ access dental care. Minnesota is also near the bottom, fourth worst, in the payment rate for adult dental care services.
The Minnesota Dental Association is the voice of dentistry in Minnesota, representing practicing dentists. It is committed to the highest standards of oral health and access to care for all Minnesotans. You can learn more at www.mndental.org.