Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas
NC Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (DHPSAs) are identified by the NC Office of Rural Health. The DHPSA policy is meant to foster collaboration amongst providers, increase ways to access oral health care, and identify priority DHPSAs to increase efficiency and effectiveness of the provided services.
The North Carolina Oral Health Section conducts a one- to two-year professional residency training program for dentists who have completed formal academic training in public health, such as a Master's in Public Health, and are seeing training in the specialty of dental public health dentistry.
Supplemental fluoride has been shown to benefit primary as well as permanent teeth. Because of the potential risk of developing fluorosis, the daily administration of individualized dietary supplements of sodium fluoride (drops, tablets, or vitamins with fluoride) is recommended only for children at high risk for developing dental decay and whose primary source of drinking water is deficient in fluoride. When indicated, fluoride supplements should be prescribed on a daily basis from age six months until approximately 16 years of age to provide the maximum benefits.
The Fluoride Supplementation sheet provides information to dental and medical providers to assist them in determining in individual fluoride supplementations are needed to prevent dental decay in children.
Into the Mouths of Babes is a North Carolina partnership of medical, dental, public health and academic agencies and organizations. Trained medical professionals provide preventive oral health services to NC Medicaid-insured young children at well-child visits, with the goal of preventing and reducing early childhood tooth decay.
Toothtalk.org, a project of Brushing is Fun, Start by Age 1, is an easy-to-use website that gives childcare providers, parents, healthcare and other professionals the latest information on improving young children's dental health. It is a collaboration of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the NC Division for Public Health Oral Health Section, funded by The Duke Endowment through the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation. The website is a clearinghouse of good tips, handy resources, up-to-date expert answers to frequently asked questions, and short videos designed to help parents and other adults protect young children's healthy smiles.