Objectives

  • Select the correct definition of the First Dental Home initiative.
  • Select when the parent or guardian should be present during a First Dental Home visit.
  • Identify the goal of the First Dental Home initiative.
  • Denote who is being trained to provide a First Dental Home.

The First Dental Home is a legislatively approved, Medicaid dental initiative aimed at improving the oral health of Medicaid enrolled children from 6 through 35 months of age. Improving the oral health of these children is accomplished by:

To effectively convey First Dental Home information to parents, one parent must be actively involved with the child and dental team during First Dental Home visits. Therefore, a requirement of First Dental Home is that at least one parent or guardian be present in the dental treatment room with the child throughout the entire visit. This requirement gives the parent an opportunity to learn about his or her child’s oral health status while the dentist is performing an oral evaluation.

The presence of the parent affords an opportunity for providing oral health education and anticipatory guidance during the course of providing preventive dental services. This interactive environment helps enhance the parent’s understanding of the role they play in the oral health of their child. The parent, through the knee-to-knee positioning of the parent and dentist, can also manage his or her child’s movements during the visit and be able to comfort the child as needed.

Materials for this First Dental Home training module were developed collaboratively by pediatric dental educators from the three Texas dental schools, private practice pediatric and general dentists, and public health dentists.

The need for the First Dental Home initiative is based on these Texas demographics:

Definition of Dental Home

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) defines the dental home as “the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, family-centered way. Establishment of a dental home begins no later than 12 months of age and includes referral to dental specialists when appropriate.”

Texas Medicaid recommends the establishment of a dental home as early as 6 months of age regardless of the eruption of teeth. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive preventive care, thus lowering the incidence of early childhood caries. The dental home can be established at any age. For the First Dental Home initiative, it is recommended that the establishment of a dental home begins at the earliest possible time, preferably at 6 months of age.

It is important to note that some very young children may not be enrolled in Medicaid until after their first birthday. A dental home can be established at any age and should begin as soon as a child is enrolled in Medicaid.

Pediatric and general dentists are being trained and certified to offer First Dental Home visits. To become a First Dental Home provider, dentists must:

Completion of this module meets the training requirement for First Dental Home. For more information about First Dental Home, click here and select First Dental Home in the left column of the webpage.

Course References:

I verify that I've read this entire lesson.