Resolution in Support of Oral Health Curriculum

Resolution in Support of Oral Health Curriculum

WHEREAS, oral health is distinct from other aspects of health care in that oral health predominantly relates to two diseases—caries and periodontal disease—both of which are largely preventable; and

WHEREAS, unlike in medicine, emergency room visits for oral health should be entirely avoidable; and

WHEREAS, an analysis of emergency room visits in Florida from 2008 to 2010 for preventable dental conditions found the number of patients seeking emergency room dental care increased by 10,000 (9.2 percent), with charges increasing by more than $21 million (32.9 percent); and

WHEREAS, more than half of the increase in charges over that period—$12.9 million—was attributable to Medicaid and Medicaid Managed Care; and

WHEREAS, the same analysis found that publicly funded emergency room dental care for children doubled from 2008-2010; and

WHEREAS, available studies suggest a statistically significant association between health illiteracy and increased costs in Medicaid patients in emergency rooms; and

WHEREAS, the continued prevalence of preventable oral health issues places undue strain on both private and public resources.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that {insert state legislature}, recognizing the importance of achieving and maintaining good oral health, supports the adoption of an oral health standards curriculum in public schools.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that {insert state legislature} encourages the voluntary assistance of dental health professionals and organizations to assist in the development and delivery of such curriculum.

Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors January 9, 2014.

Keyword Tags: 2013 SNPS, Health and Human Services Task Force