Healthy Smiles

 

 

 

Providing Dental Services at a Long Term Care Center

Prestige Long Term Care and Rehabilitation Center

Pioneer Home

 

 

 

 

 

Background:

Current research has shown that lack of preventative care and treatment of oral disease increases risk of cardiovascular, neurological, and infective disease processes.  Seniors residing in long term care facilities are especially vulnerable.  These residents often go without routine dental care due to difficulties in leaving the facility and other hardships.  Additionally, many of the overworked caregivers do not have the time or training to provide thorough daily oral hygiene for residents.  The growing number of vulnerable and underserved populations compound the urgency to address the need for dental services in this population group.

 

Goal:

To increase access to dental care for residents residing in long-term care facilities in the Anchorage, AK area.  In addition to increasing access to care, we are increasing oral health education and training staff and residents at the facility.  By doing a pilot study at Prestige Care and Rehabilitation Center, we are providing a working model for using Collaborative practice (Dental Hygienists working with Dentists).  This model will increase access for vulnerable populations in Alaska and could be emulated by other dental professionals.

 

  Current Model:

We have partnered with Christian Health Associates to create the State’s first on-site dental clinic in a long-term care facility.  Healthy Smiles Forever (HSF) provides comprehensive dental treatment for residents at Prestige.  Services are provided in a designated room using a permanent dental chair, equipment and supplies.

Many items have been donated to the facility and grants have provided other funding to fund the clinic until it becomes sustainable.  Two dental hygienists and two dentists are providing dental services for the residents of the facility one day a week.

 

 

Future:

The pilot program at Prestige has been a success.  The dental clinic continues to see residents and we are now in our 2nd year.  Oral health education sessions with nurses and staff continue, teaching the correlation between oral health, pneumonia risk and overall health for the residents.

 

Healthy Smiles forever/Christian Health Associates received a grant from Rasmuson to purchase initial equipment and supplies for a new clinic at Pioneer Home.  This will be our second facility and we expect to begin providing patient care for residents this Fall.

 

Our goal is to continue expanding to additional long-term care centers and residential facilities for the disabled.  We hope Healthy Smiles Forever will be a long term non-profit organization improving access to dental treatment and oral health for this often overlooked population throughout Anchorage and surrounding communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Advisory Board

 

Nicki Bennett

Dr. Guy Ingrim

Dr. Brad Mott

Dr. Jonathan Oudin

Royann Royer

Dr. Kimberly Self

Randi Sweet

Valerie Truncali

Brian Green

 

Contact Information:

hsf@christianhealth.org