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Community Oral Health

IDA's Strategies for Community Oral Health

‘A well planned strategy is more effective than hit and miss activities’ to achieve effective results.’ – IDA strongly believes in its ethos and thus has segregated its community work into Ten Essential Public Health Services.

Identify with community oral health problems

  • IDA acquires data on the present community oral health status and shares it with other relevant organisations.
  • It judges the availability of oral health care services to the public with respect to the capacity of the dental community to meet their needs.
  • The organisation identifies the oral health trends in the population by analysing community data.
  • Segregation and review of data on national, state and regional level is the next step before planning public ventures.
  • The available data is shared for community health assessments.
  • The data is also integrated with other health data collections to facilitate efforts conducted by other health care systems.
  • Thus, IDA has created a network of oral health professionals to receive and share varied data.

Diagnose the oral health problems and their effects in the community

  • IDA identifies the effects of oral health problems and environmental factors on general health.
  • To start with, it tabulates trends in emerging oral health problems (eg. diabetes mellitus, obesity, lack of dental insurance, decreasing number of dental professionals participating in Medicaid, etc.)
  • For this it works with local public health agencies and suggests plans for emergencies.
  • The socio-economic conditions that affect the public oral health are identified. The changes required are advocated by IDA.
  • IDA has access to laboratory expertise to monitor and report community and environmental health status. (eg. Water plant operations, private well monitoring.)

Create public awareness on the oral health issues

  • Relevant data if shared with other public health organisations helps to understand and improve issues affecting public health.
  • Sensing the need IDA shares the available data and conducts health-promoting activities to promote awareness on importance of oral health.
  • It mobilises communities to advocate for policies and activities that improve their oral health.
  • To reach a wider spectrum of audience IDA involves media to participate in its ventures.

Organise informative programmes with the help of community helpers

  • IDA organises programmes that involves public volunteers to identify, and solve the public health problems. The factor assists in its achieving oral health goals.
  • On identifying the core problem areas IDA partners with governmental or non- governmental organisations to develop strategies to address the oral health issues.
  • It has and will support organisations willing to participate in community health programmes.
  • Sometimes the public is categorised as per their needs such as immediate, over a time, long- term and preventive oral health remedies. (eg. those with developmental disabilities, senior citizens, etc. )
  • The organisation involves volunteers from diverse sections of society to promote its community oral health programmes.

Develop policies and plans supporting individual and community oral health efforts

  • IDA prides in contributing in development of local, state and national level policies and practices (fluoridation, tobacco policies, school health programmes, etc.)
  • It has shared its oral health expertise with various social and environmental public health programmes.
  • The institution has developed and promoted its unique vision, mission and guiding principles to highlight the community oral health needs.
  • To materialise the vision, mission and principles for community oral health programmes it invites volunteers from general public.

Enforce rules for healthy oral cavity and its safety

  • Laws, ordinances, regulations and policies that affect oral health are to monitored frequently. IDA ensures their enforcement in maintenance and their implementation in the community (eg. Medicaid / early and periodic screening, Diagnosis and Treatment requirements, Fluoridation laws, etc.)
  • It also analyses the existing laws, regulations and policies related to public oral health.
  • It informs policymakers in presence of any gaps in them (eg. Adult Medicaid oral services)
  • Thus, it has created awareness about the purpose, meaning and benefits of public health laws, regulations and policies in public and relevant organisations.

Promote personal health services and provide them if unavailable

  • IDA leads or lends support to comprehensive services that cover prevention, diagnosis and treatments of oral health.
  • It shares partnerships with diverse communities to meet oral health treatment needs (eg. individuals with special health care needs, families homeless, etc.)
  • It has and continues to work in tandem with communities to identify and establish programmes that promote preventive services.
  • Thus, it has proved to be an appropriate guide for public in need of oral health services.

Ensure presence of competitive oral and personal health care work force

  • IDA has worked diligently to check the appropriateness of the oral health programmes at local, regional or state level.
  • It has and continues to create competitive recruitment, training and development of community oral health director.
  • It assesses the community oral health programme staff periodically and provides training, education and development activities to increase their competence level.
  • It contributes towards public health curriculum by developing partnerships with universities and academies.
  • It shares educational experiences in community oral health with the future oral health professionals.
  • It has and will recruit, train, develop and promote culturally diverse oral health professionals to cater to diverse public societies.
  • Under IDA banner dental professionals are encouraged to implement effective oral health measures in their respective practices.
  • To promote the need for preventive services in the community it has been an ideal association.
  • It provides training and resources to dental professionals and enables them to provide competent oral health services.
  • It identifies and provides strategies to meet the demand for dental professionals at public and private platforms.
  • IDA has thus identified the barriers to provide oral health services and provides effective measures for the same (eg. Transportation, finance, health literacy, language) etc.

Periodically assess the oral health services

  • Goals are necessary for any community oral health programmes. IDA is involved in the continuous identification and evaluation of their progress at regular intervals.
  • The knowledge obtained by the organisation is further utilised to improve performance and results.
  • IDA reviews the effectiveness of oral health interventions through other health professionals and agencies.

Utilise the outcomes of the project for future development

  • IDA research projects form the basis and reference for its future plans.
  • The studies are being further extended to reflect the effects of oral health on general health of the public.
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