NORTHWEST TRIBAL DENTAL SUPPORT CENTER
It is well documented that American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) carry a disproportionate burden of oral disease. According to the IHS 1999 Oral Health Survey, the majority of AI/AN children have tooth decay, most adults have lost teeth because of dental disease, periodontal disease is a significant problem for adults, and there is limited access to both preventive and restorative dental care. Profound health disparities exist between the oral health status of AI/ANs in the Pacific Northwest compared to non-AI/ANs in the same area. These differences result from multiple etiologies, but one clearly identifiable factor is the loss of dental public health infrastructure by the Indian Health Service over the last decade. The Indian Health Service (IHS) has made additional funds available to create dental support centers with the goal to improve the oral health of AI/AN people. The Northwest Tribal Dental Support Center (NTDSC) is currently in its twenty-first year of operation.
The overall goals of the NTDSC are to provide training, quality improvement, and technical assistance to the 39 IHS/Tribal dental programs in the Portland Area, and to ensure that the services of the NTDSC result in measurable improvement in the oral health status of the AI/AN people served in the Portland Area. The objectives are to continue oral health assessment, ensure quality of care, Implement clinical and community-based prevention programs, and provide continuing dental education. Furthermore, NTDSC works closely with IHS and other dental support centers towards meeting national HP/DP objectives. The objectives of NTDSC are supported through ongoing communication with local dental programs via site visits, email groups, telephone consultation, and an annual Area-wide dental meeting.
2022 Area Dental Meeting, TBA
The NTDSC is in its fourth five-year grant cycle (currently our 19th year).
During the first five-year grant cycle, the clinical consultant provided 70 site visits and the HP/DP consultant provided 69 site visits. Satisfaction surveys were administered following each site visit during the past three years. Survey responses were anonymous. Overall satisfaction averaged 4.8 out of a possible score of 5.0 using a Likert Scale. During the five-year period, the NTDSC increased the number of sealants placed Area-wide by 35%, and topical fluoride treatments for all age groups increased by 54%. Access for infants increased by 16% and topical fluoride treatments for infants increased by 46%. Overall dental access increased by 12% during the five-year grant cycle.
The accomplishments of the NTDSC in meeting our clinical and health promotion/disease prevention (HP/DP) objectives can be attributed to the fierce commitment of those dental providers in the Northwest who have worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve these objectives, adopting them as their own, and putting in the time and effort required to improve the oral health of the people they serve.
Ticey Mason (Siletz), MA
NTDSC Project Director
Dr. Sean Kelly
Dr. Lynn Van Pelt
IHS Are Dental Consultant
Day One Orientation
- We Shall Remain- – YouTube
- Northwest Tribal Dental Support Center – Ticey Mason
- Indian Health Service: Division of Oral Health – Dr. Cheryl Sixkiller
- PH Dentistry and Prevention Orientation- Bonnie Bruerd
- Working in Indian Country Orientation- Bonnie Bruerd
- Oral Health Status Northwest AI-AN People – Dr. Kathy Phipps
- Acute Dental Pain Management & the Opioid Crisis – Dr Brandy Larson
- Communicating with Policymakers – Joe Finkbonner
- IHS Division of Oral Health Update – Dr. Tim Lozon & Dr. Cheryl Sixkiller
- Building People – David Cournoyer
- IHS Survey of Children 1-5 Years – Dr. Kathy Phipps
- NDTI – Dr. Miranda Davis
2018 Area Dental Meeting, Tulalip Casino and Resort, Tulalip, WA August 20-23, 2018
- Day One Orientation
- Indian Health Service: Division of Oral Health, Dr. Cheryl Sixkiller
- Woking in Indian Country, Ticey Mason & Bonnie Bruerd
- Oral Health Status of Northwest American Indian People, Dr. Kathy Phipps
- Top 10 Clinical Recommendations, Dr. Bruce Johnson
- Public Health Dentistry & Prevention Overview, Dr. Bonnie Bruerd
- Healthy Healers, Dr. Tina Woods & Dana Diehl
- DHAT Update, Christina Peters
- Minimally- Invasive Dentistry: Lessons Learned, Panel
- Oral Health Survey Training for 2018, Dr. Kathy Phipps