ADEA Applauds Dental Community for Contributions to Sweeping NIDCR Report on Oral Health

December 22, 2021—The American Dental Education Association applauds the work of dental educators, ADEA staff and other stakeholders in the dental community for their contributions to a comprehensive new report that highlights the state of oral health in the United States.

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Released by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges is a follow-up to the landmark 2000 report, Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General.

More than 400 experts participated in the compilation and review of information in the new report, which aims to serve as a road map of sorts on how to improve oral health within the U.S.

ADEA President and CEO Karen P. West, D.M.D., M.P.H., underscored the number of those experts who contributed to the report, which was two years in the making.

“This high level of participation is a testament to the commitment of oral health professionals to broadening our understanding of oral health, its fundamental link to overall well-being and the need to address persistent disparities in access to oral care” Dr. West said. “I want to thank each one of these experts, and the leadership of the NIDCR—especially that of its director, Dr. Rena D’Souza—for shining a spotlight on these important issues.”

This new report builds on a major report released two decades ago by then-Surgeon General David Satcher, who advocated for both a greater recognition of the link between oral health and overall health and of the need to confront inequities in oral health care.

“In the last 20 years, there has been progress in some areas, and in others, a collective realization that far more work needs to be done,” reads, in part, the introduction to the new report. “It is our hope and intent that this report will serve as the foundation for that work. Work that—in light of a global pandemic that so plainly shows that the mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body and those individuals and communities most affected in the pandemic are the same as those who so badly need oral health care—is perhaps more important than it has ever been.”

Free downloads of Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges are available from the NIDCR website.

About ADEA: The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is The Voice of Dental Education. Our mission is to lead and support the health professions community in preparing future-ready oral health professionals. Our members include all 79 accredited U.S. and Canadian dental schools, more than 800 allied and advanced dental education programs, more than 50 corporations and approximately 15,000 individuals. Our activities encompass a wide range of research, advocacy, faculty development, meetings and communications, including the esteemed Journal of Dental Education®, as well as the dental school application services ADEA AADSAS®, ADEA PASS®, ADEA DHCAS® and ADEA CAAPID®