Association‌ of‌ State‌ &‌ Territorial‌ Dental‌ Directors
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Phone‌ 775-626-5008‌‌

Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

Montana Dental Summit II- Archived Summary

Practice Number: 29002
Submitted By: Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Public Health and Safety Division
Submission Date: July 2004
Last Reviewed: February 2013
Last Updated: March 2006
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Montana held its first Dental Summit on November 18, 1999. Two years later as a follow-up, on November 2, 2001, the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) hosted Montana Dental Summit II. The Montana Primary Care Association and the Montana Dental Association also sponsored the event. The second dental summit provided another opportunity for the state's oral health advocates to meet and to discuss strategies to further improve access to oral health. Interactive video satellite linked participation from six community sites. The morning agenda included presentations including: (1) the Montana's Congressional delegation's efforts at the federal level to improve access to care, (2) updates from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)/Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), (3) the 2000 Montana Dentist Survey Report, (4) successful accomplishments related to the Montana Dental Summit I and its proposed actions to improve dental access, and (5) the Montana Migrant/Community Health Center/Rural and Urban Indian Health Dental Clinic overview and review of President George Bush's New Access Point Initiative. The afternoon session offered participants at the central meeting location a choice to work in one of three focus workgroups: (1) Dental Workforce Workgroup (e.g., recruitment & retention efforts and volunteer/student/resident programs), (2) Health Promotion Workgroup (e.g., oral health promotion and disease prevention activities and fluoride promotion strategies), and (3) Community Systems & Network Development Workgroup (e.g., community coalitions and resources and infrastructure building). Workgroups were directed to review remaining strategies from Summit I and to prioritize them along with developing action steps. At each community site linked by video satellite, participants worked on priority oral health issues for their local area. The workgroups and the community sites presented their strategy priorities. The priorities assisted the Montana DPHHS and members of the Montana Dental Access Coalition in developing an action plan and work with members of the Children, Families, Health and Human Services Legislative Interim Committee to improve access for Montana citizens. The cost for the 2nd Summit was approximately $4500. Actions and benefits that resulted from the 2nd Summit included the Board of Dentistry rule changes that developed licensure status for retired dental professionals to participate as volunteers in public health settings for a modest fee, allowed dental student rotation programs in rural areas, and established Limited Access Permit for dental hygienists to practice in public health settings. Support became stronger for opening a dental hygiene school. The Montana dental summits have increased awareness of the plight of the poor and underserved to obtain reasonable access to dental services in MT, increased visibility in Montana legislative arena regarding oral health issues, increased community coalition development and fluoridation campaign activities, further enhanced collaborations with partners and engaged new ones, and set the stage for the development of a strategic state oral health plan. In 2006, the Montana Oral Health Plan was developed and released.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Cheri Seed, RDH, BA (former Montana state dental director), Tobacco Education Specialist, Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI), 1201 11th Ave, Helena, MT 59620, Phone: 406-444-0785, Fax: 406-444-0743, Email: