Monthly, The Journal of the Michigan Dental Association brings news, information, and feature articles to our state's oral health community and the MDA's 6,200+ members. No publication reaches more Michigan dentists! In this August 2022 issue, the reader will find the following original content:

  • A cover story on choosing to partner with a Dental Service Organization (DSO)
  • A conversation with three dentists on how and why they are involved with organized dentistry.
  • A 10-Minute EBD on the efficacy of vacuum-formed removable orthodontic retainers
  • News you need, an Editorial, a report from our ADA Trustee and regular department articles, Dentistry and the Law, Staff Matters, Advocacy, and component news.

Plus, commentary by Drs. Marko Vujicic and Chelsea Fosse of the ADA’s Health Policy Institute (ADAHPI) reprinted from the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics, on it being time for dental care to be considered essential in U.S. health care policy.

They discuss the separation of dental and medical care in the United States dating back to the mid-1800s when dental schools and associations were established independently of medical counterparts. Despite recent healthcare reforms, dental care remains separate.

Their commentary highlights the implications of this division on outcomes, affordability, and utilization of dental care, with disparities in oral health outcomes by age, income, and race. For children, disparities by race and income have been narrowing, but for seniors, untreated cavities are more common among Black and Hispanic populations. Disparities exist in retaining natural teeth, driven by income. Increasing access to dental services and addressing inequity is essential. Dental insurance for adults is not guaranteed, and significant state-to-state variation in dental services is covered under Medicaid programs. Medicare does not cover routine dental services for adults aged 65 and older. Addressing disparities in oral health outcomes, dental care utilization, and affordability requires considering dental care essential for all ages and improving care coordination between medical and dental practitioners.