New York Expands Dental Program to Columbia University, Providing Essential Care to Underserved
The New York State Dental Association (NYSDA) is expanding its Dental Demonstration Project (DDP) program to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.
The New York State Dental Association (NYSDA) is expanding its Dental Demonstration Project (DDP) program to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, a move made possible with support from State Senator Timothy Kennedy (D-Buffalo). The DDP is a state-funded initiative that was launched by NYSDA in 2015 to benefit underserved communities across the state. Its primary mission is to match underserved patients with dental homes in their communities. The program aims to increase access to care, home health utilization and oral health literacy, and decrease the use of emergency departments for dental problems.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the DDP hosted events for patients of all ages that highlighted the importance of disease prevention and benefits of effective oral hygiene and regular dental care. With the pandemic, these events evolved into collaborations with community dental health coordinators (CDHCs) and moved to a telehealth model. This new workforce has been instrumental in connecting families to dental services, oral health education, telehealth dental assessments, and appointments for care and follow-up.
The DDP strives to close the gap on unmet dental needs and link families to resources in their local community. The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine is a primary provider of vital oral healthcare services to underserved patient populations in New York City neighborhoods. The DDP utilizes CDHCs in key areas for project planning, implementation and follow-up.