2130 Mobile Dental Equipment - Dental and Dental Hygiene Administrators' Perspectives
K.L. MORIN1, R. BAGRAMIAN2, and M. INGLEHART2, 1University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, 2University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

Objectives: to explore attitudes of dental school and dental hygiene program administrators concerning (a) community based education, (b) the use of mobile dental units, and (c) the use of dental vans when educating future dental health care providers.

Methods: Data were collected from 23 deans of US dental schools and 71 directors of dental hygiene programs in the US. These administrators responded to a self administered mailed survey.

Results: All but one of the dental programs and all but three of the dental hygiene programs offered community based education. 43.5% of the dental programs and 18.3% of the dental hygiene program utilized mobile dental equipment. Only three of the dental schools and 5 of the dental hygiene programs owned dental vans. Dental hygiene administrators agreed more strongly with statements concerning raising awareness of problems related to poor oral health (4.63 vs. 4.36; p=.047) and concerning educational efforts regarding the treatment of patients with disabilities (on 5 point scale: 4.13 vs. 3.73; p=.069) than the dental school administrators. The attitudes towards community based education as well as towards the use of mobile dental units and dental vans were overall quite positive, with cost for buying and maintaining mobile dental units and vans being the major factor cited for not utilizing this technology. In addition, many dental hygiene programs had problems with recruiting supervising dentists for their community based efforts as well as when using mobile dental units or vans.

Conclusion: The US Surgeon General Report on Oral Health showed the degree to which certain disadvantaged groups in the US lack access to oral health care. Utilizing community based educational efforts with or without the use of mobile dental equipment might raise students' awareness for the need to treat these underserved patient populations, and thus contribute to reducing oral health care discrepancies.

Seq #225 - Oral health promotion and oral hygiene
3:30 PM-4:45 PM, Friday, March 23, 2007 Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Exhibit Hall I2-J

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