KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – A.T. Still University – Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) Dean Jack Dillenberg, D.D.S., presented “The Family Centered Health Home – A Health Practice Model to Improve Total Health through an Innovative Dental Education Model” at the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health’s (MCOH) 2009 Oral Health Summit in Columbia, Mo., on November 13. The annual convention brings speakers from across the country to explain industry advancements and maps out MCOH’s plan for improving oral health in the state of Missouri.
Dr. Dillenberg addressed the need of both medical physicians and dentists to cross cultures in order to treat and prevent diseases such as heart disease and diabetes that can begin in the oral cavity. He minimized the idea of separating traditional medical and dental care and embraced the more comprehensive idea of a “health home.” Health homes are not only physical places, but also are accessible, family-centered, and compassionate partnerships that improve total body health.
With change often comes concern and Dr. Dillenberg talked about the barriers that come with a new way of thinking. He said that subject clarity, oral health priority, and insurance reimbursement provide obstacles to the new way of thinking, but stressed that industry pioneers cannot be afraid to take a risk and to take an active leadership role to transform society.
Dr. Dillenberg explained how ASDOH is taking a proactive approach by teaching this method within the University setting, as well as lining up internships across the country at health clinics to practice in a less traditional dental environment.
Dr. Dillenberg is the inaugural dean of ASDOH, which graduated its first class of dentists in 2007.