COVID-19 and the Impact on Dental Public Health

August 26, 2020 at 7:30 PM

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As states face revenue shortfalls due to the pandemic, access to oral health care for communities in need may be in jeopardy. This session will address the unique challenges vulnerable populations may face in receiving care during a pandemic. It will provide an overview of how traditional strategies to reducing barriers to care like ER referral programs and Medicaid dental programs and providers may be impacted by the pandemic. The session will conclude with a strategy for action to help low income communities receive the oral care they need during these uncertain times. 


Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the challenges that low-income communities face in receiving dental care during a pandemic.
  2. Learn about strategies that can help reduce barriers to care during COVID-19.
  3. Be prepared to take action on these strategies at the state and local level.

RADM Timothy L. Ricks

Timothy L. Ricks, D.M.D., M.P.H., F.I.C.D., currently serves as the 19th Chief Dental Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as well as Assistant Surgeon General.

He serves as the Surgeon General’s spokesperson on oral health and interacts with chief dental officers from other countries, with military chief dental officers, with leaders in organized dentistry, with state oral health programs, and much more. 

He is currently overseeing the development of the second-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health.  Rear Adm. Ricks has served in the U.S. Public Health Service for over 21 years.  Prior to this service, he was an associate dentist, independent contractor, and sole proprietor, and he also served as a military police officer in the Army National Guard. 

He serves as a Delegate in the ADA House of Delegates and frequently interacts with ADA leadership, the Council on Government Affairs, and the Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention.


Dr. Jane Grover

Dr. Jane Grover became the Director of the Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention of the American Dental Association in April 2013. She oversees Association activities on topics such as community water fluoridation, dental sealants, school based dental programs, community health center, access to care and funding of public health dental programs.

She is a native of Detroit and received both her dental degree and Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan.

Prior to joining the ADA, Dr. Grover was the Dental Director of an FQHC in Michigan, adjunct faculty of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and AEGD residency director for Lutheran Medical Center.

Dr. Grover has been an advocate for public – private partnerships to promote oral health programs for underserved populations. She received the Clinician of the Year award from the Michigan Primary Care Association in 2004 for her role in advocating for the return of dental Medicaid benefits for adults in Michigan.

She testified before a US Congressional Subcommittee on dental Medicaid benefits for underserved populations in 2008

She received the Distinguished Alumni of the Year award by the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 2014.