Oral Health Information for Health Professionals

For Oral Health Professionals

Licensing

Dental health professionals must apply for and renew their licenses with the Department of Health. The Rhode Island Board of Examiners in Dentistry ensures that all dentists and dental hygienists practicing in Rhode Island meet the requirements for licensure and comply with the applicable conditions and regulations of the law. (more)

Professional Associations

National and local professional organizations provide resources to oral health professionals and educate the public on a variety of topics. The American Dental Association is the oldest and largest national dental society in the world. There are many other national dental organizations focused around certain areas of dentistry, such as general dentistry, dental hygiene, dental assisting, and dental specialties. Locally, the Rhode Island Dental Association is a professional organization of Rhode Island dentists dedicated to the service of the public and advancement of the profession through education, advocacy, and member services.

Resources

For Non-Oral Health Professionals

Oral health is a vital component of overall health and well-being. Innovative prevention approaches can help low-income, ethnically and racially diverse children and families and individuals with special healthcare needs overcome disparities and access care. Non-dental health professionals, such as healthcare providers, WIC programs, educators, and Head Start Programs, can provide oral health risk assessment and work collaboratively with oral health professionals to provide comprehensive preventive care.

Resources

The following resources are just a small sample of web-based oral health training opportunities available to health professionals.

  • Open Wide: Oral Health Training for Health Professionals
    This is a series of four modules designed to help health and early childhood professionals working in community settings (for example, Head Start and WIC staff) promote oral health in the course of promoting general health for infants, children, and their families.
  • Opening the Mouth: Oral Health and Health Care
    This interactive tutorial provides an overview of the relationship between maternal oral health and child health. By following the experience of Mrs. Perez and her daughter Maria, the user learns about maternal-child oral health issues from conception through toddler years.
  • Oral Health Pocket Guide (HRSA Bright Futures in Practice)
    This guide is designed to help health professionals implement specific oral health guidelines during pregnancy, postpartum, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. It addresses risk assessment for dental caries, periodontal disease, malocclusion, and injury.
  • Smiles for Life
    This is a comprehensive oral health curriculum for physicians developed by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Group on Oral Health. Six PowerPoint modules cover the relationship of oral and systemic health, child oral health, adult oral health, dental emergencies, oral Health and the pregnant patient, and fluoride varnish. Each module is designed to be presented in 50 minutes and includes annotated speaker notes.