Faculty lead: Shalizeh Patel, DDS
Challenges: One in eight older adults in Texas is endentulous, and overall oral health outcomes in the Houston region are poorer than those in other Texas urban areas, contributing to dental pain, malnutrition, took loss, chronic disease destabilization, and decreased quality of life.
Unmet health needs: Unmet oral health needs are common in Houston and surrounding areas because dental care is not covered by Medicare, standard Medicaid coverage, or many other insurance offerings. In 2017, Texas, which has not opted for Medicaid expansion, had the highest percentage of uninsured (17.3 percent) patients.
Unmet education and training needs: Despite the importance of oral health in wellbeing, oral health education is lacking for health professions trainees outside dentistry and dental trainees receive minimal geriatrics education.
Initiative Vision: Education of dental and interprofessional health trainees will address these education gaps. As an initial clinical intervention, primary care trainees will implement the Kayser-Jones Brief Oral Health Status Examination. Caregivers will also receive education about dental health at community health centers.
- UT School of Dentistry
- UT Cizik School of Nursing
- Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
- Baylor College of Medicine
- BakerRipley Senior Services
- University of Houston Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy