Wisdom Tooth Project®

OHA’s Wisdom Tooth Project (WTP) strives to improve the lives of older adults especially vulnerable to oral disease.

The Issue: U.S. health care system is woefully unprepared to meet the oral health challenges of a burgeoning population of older adults with special needs, chronic disease complications, and a growing inability to access and pay for dental services.

Our Work: Since 2009, our Wisdom Tooth Project® has implemented Five Strategies to combat some of the barriers that aging Americans face with regards to receiving the oral care they need.

Our Five Strategies

Strategy 1: ToothWisdom.org

ToothWisdom.orgToothwisdom.org is a first-of-its-kind website that serves both seniors and their caregivers by teaching about oral health in aging and by connecting individuals with affordable dental clinics.

Strategy 2: Demonstration Projects

Demonstration projects allow us to develop new oral health initiatives, conduct research and pilot specific interventions. For example in 2015, we launched a project to give pharmacists information resources for answering questions seniors have regarding oral health.

Strategy 3: Advocacy

We are working to improve access to oral healthcare for older adults through our advocacy efforts, focusing on the effort to include dental coverage in Medicare. OHA’s A State of Decay report serves to educate the public and legislators about the barriers that aging Americans face for gaining access to care.

Strategy 4: Professional Symposia

These collaborative meetings unite diverse groups of health professionals and community leaders at the state and national levels with the goal to inspire strategic change that improves the oral health of older adults.

Strategy 5: Health Education & Communications

Tooth Wisdom: Get Smart About Your Mouth is a health education curriculum for older adults delivered in community settings that launched in 2014. The Wisdom Tooth Insider e-newsletter provides monthly updates on Oral Health America's work with older adults.

Thank you to our generous sponsors & funders:

DentaQuest Foundation, ivoclar vivadent, The Research Retirement Foundation, Smile180, Colgate, Delta Dental of Minnesota, AspenDental, Delta Dental of Michigan

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