August 15, 2013

NICHQ and the DentaQuest Institute Commit to Improving Children's Oral Health Across the Country

Young Boy at the Dentist'sThe DentaQuest Institute and NICHQ (the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality) have begun a third phase of improvement work to better dental care for children. The DentaQuest Institute’s initiative aims to refine and spread a disease management model to address preventable tooth decay in children.

Early childhood caries (ECC), a commonly transmitted dental disease that causes rapid and severe tooth decay, can cause pain and infection in young children. It is often necessary to provide treatment for ECC in the operating room under general anesthesia. Even with this invasive treatment, disease often reoccurs.

The first two phases of this effort, called the ECC Collaborative, included seven sites that developed and refined a new disease management model emphasizing minimally invasive dentistry and the prevention of decay. Results showed that the model resulted in lower rates of cavities and operating room referrals for children.

The third phase of the DentaQuest Institute’s ECC Collaborative will expand the work to up to 40 sites across the country to refine the model and spread best practices on preventing ECC.

“NICHQ is very excited the DentaQuest Institute looked to us for the leadership and experience to help manage the third phase,” says Cindy Hannon, MSW, associate project director and lead for NICHQ’s role in the initiative. “Being part of this team, working to better understand how the disease management protocol can be spread to effectively and efficiently treat children, has great promise.”

NICHQ uses proven quality improvement techniques, collaboration methods and technical expertise to help health organizations make positive change in children’s healthcare.

The DentaQuest Institute and NICHQ are currently recruiting dental teams for Phase 3 of the work. To apply, please apply here.

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