skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, April 19, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Improving NC access to dental care for people with disabilities

play audio
Play

Friday, December 8, 2023   

Most people probably never give a second thought to their visits to the dentist, but not everyone can navigate this process with ease. People with intellectual or developmental disabilities may face challenges in finding quality dental care.

Dr. Bill Milner founded Access Dental Care with those patients in mind. It's a mobile dental service that makes care more accessible by visiting places such as nursing homes, group-home day centers, PACE programs and retirement communities.

Milner said the goal is to provide a dental home for a population that is too often overlooked.

"We've had to develop our own delivery system," he explained. "It has to be rolled in, five days a week, into different facilities. We treat 15 to 18 patients a day, and then we gather everything up at the end of the day, roll it back out, put it in the truck and go home."

Sponsored by the North Carolina Dental Society, Access Dental Care serves 60 counties in the state, and visits about 160 facilities. Milner has also won this year's American Dental Association Humanitarian Award.

Milner acknowledged that efforts are being made to improve access, but said barriers still exist -- from navigating behaviors to having few providers trained to give specialized care. He said even small changes within the profession can lead to improvements.

"We're having folks roll in, in wheelchairs, into offices -- and they don't know how to transfer folks into dental chairs," he said, "and it's as simple as getting a physical therapist in to train their staff."

Another significant challenge is Medicaid funding for providers, which Milner said typically only reimburses 38 cents for every dollar of the dental bill. Nonetheless, he said, his team will continue to advocate for special-care services, with plans to open more clinics.

Milner sees it as a priority to raise awareness and encourage more dentists to work with these patients.

"We need them to speak up and continue to be advocates for oral health," he noted, "and for them to understand that infection in the mouth is infection in the body."

There is movement on this issue at the state level. In the North Carolina Legislature, Senate Bill 382 would give students the chance to work in the community at nursing homes and group homes. The bill is now in a conference committee and has bipartisan support.

Disclosure: North Carolina Dental Society contributes to our fund for reporting on Education, Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The Bureau of Land Management's newly issued Public Lands Rule is designed to safeguard cultural resources such as New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Park. (Photo courtesy SallyPaez)

Environment

play sound

Balancing the needs of the many with those who have traditionally reaped benefits from public lands is behind a new rule issued Thursday by the Bureau…


Health and Wellness

play sound

Alzheimer's disease is the eighth-leading cause of death in Pennsylvania. A documentary on the topic debuts Saturday in Pittsburgh. "Remember Me: …

Social Issues

play sound

April is Financial Literacy Month, when the focus is on learning smart money habits but also how to protect yourself from fraud. One problem on the …


Outdoor recreation added $11.7 million to the Arizona economy in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Arizona conservation groups and sportsmen alike say they're pleased the Bureau of Land Management will now recognize conservation as an integral part …

play sound

Across the U.S., most political boundaries tied to the 2020 Census have been in place for a while, but a national project on map fairness for …

The 2023 Annie E. Casey Foundation Data Book ranked Arkansas 37th in the nation for education, and said 56% of young children were not in preschool programs to help get them ready for school. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The need for child care and early learning is critical, especially in rural Arkansas. One nonprofit is working to fill those gaps by giving providers …

Environment

play sound

An annual march for farmworkers' rights is being held Sunday in northwest Washington. This year, marchers are focusing on the conditions for local …

Social Issues

play sound

A new Gallup and Lumina Foundation poll unveils a concerning reality: Hoosiers may lack clarity about the true cost of higher education. The survey …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021