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Kansas Improves Its Grades In Dental Healthcare

Kansas Improves Its Grades In Dental Healthcare

The state of Kansas has earned grade B for its dental care programs, which is quite a big improvement from the D + grade that it earned in 2003. Undoubtedly, the officers of the state oral health department are pleased with this dramatic improvement. As one board member of the department later said, having a B grade provides opportunities for improvement.

The organization has come to the conclusion that there is enough room for improvement for better accessibility and quality of oral care for the residents of Kansas. However, with the present financial difficulties of the state in the present legislative session, the best option would be to keep up the present situation.

One reason that is a constraint on the health grade of the state is the attitude of Wichita, the most populous part of the state that continues to use drinking water without the use of fluoridation. The breakdown of the overall B grade shows that in “state policies” component, the state has received a D grade. Mr. McGlasson feels that if Wichita had gone ahead with the fluoridation program of water, that component would at least have risen to a B grade.

The President of Oral Health Kansas, Denise Maseman feels that in spite of using toothpaste with fluoride, tooth decay can be better protected through fluoridation of drinking water. There is a systemic protection available through the fluoride present in the drinking water. But in case of toothpaste, the benefit of fluoride does not go deep into the surface of the tooth.

To address the issue, the OHK along with the state's Department of Health and Environment has hired the service of dental Director of the state in 2006. The recommendations made in this regard are:

  • Include dental coverage through Medicaid to greater number of adults, increasing the number of doctors in the network who are willing to see patients of Medicaid and increasing reimbursements for Medicaid dental care.
  • Provide dental care to areas of Kansas that are underserved through greater investment.
  • Promote healthy nutrition to children, mainly those of preschool and nutrition programs of school.
  • Educate the importance of oral hygiene to pregnant women, caregivers and parents, especially those with young kids.

Oral Health Kansas, which consists of many civic institutions along with the health care sector, has undertaken the research. The contract of the research was given by the Oral Health of America, which was responsible for the ratings.


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