A comprehensive dental program for Boston's Native American community
Mann, Madalyn L.
Boston Indian Council
MetadataShow full item record
Until recently, little attention has been directed toward meeting the dental needs of Boston’s Native American community. Through the cooperation and support of Boston University School of Graduate Dentistry and the Boston Indian Council, plans were developed to establish a comprehensive dental program providing continuous dental care and dental health education to the Native American people living in the Boston area. A needs assessment was conducted to gather baseline data on the dental needs of children in the Indian community. Fifty children ranging in age from 2-19 were screened for dental disease and evaluated for oral hygiene. Results of the screening find the Indian children in Boston exhibiting a high number of decayed teeth with little or no previous dental care. In addition, approximately 46% of the children displayed poor oral hygiene. It was agreed by the Boston Indian Council and the Boston University School of Graduate Dentistry that dental services along with dental health education was needed for the population. Staff workshops were conducted to train members of the community to be dental health educators. Plans to educate the children by the trained dental health educators were not implemented at that time due to the community’s desire to obtain needed dental services for the children. It is anticipated that next year the community will be ready for an educational program after witnessing positive results from the dental treatment. The dental school provided therapeutic, preventive and emergency services to insure at least a maintenance level of care. The dental students were sensitized to the special needs of the Indian children before they began treatment. Of the 50 children screened between 10/1975 and 1/1976, 2 of the most severe cases have completed all treatment, 12 are presently receiving treatment and many more are waiting their turn. The community’s response to the dental program has been quite favorable. Parents are calling the dental school requesting appointments for their children to receive dental services. A pragmatic approach to the development of a dental program for an underserved Indian population was undertaken. An available source of dental care is now accessible and affordable to a culturally-precious Indian community.
Thesis (M.S.)--Boston University, Henry M. Goldman School of Graduate Dentistry, , (Dental Public Health)Bibliography: leaves 21-22.
RightsThis work is being made available in OpenBU by permission of its author, and is available for research purposes only. All rights are reserved to the author.