Closing the Gaps; Connecting Oral Health with Overall Health

by | Jul 18, 2019 | Delta Dental Institute, Northeast Delta Dental | 0 comments

The word catenate \ˈka-tə-ˌnāt\, means to connect things together, e.g. to form a chain. For more than twenty years, Northeast Delta Dental has been working diligently to change the old perception that the mouth and body are separate. Dental science has proven that good oral health leads to better overall health and catenate (connect) with the human body. Delta Dental has created a new organization that will take action to improve better health outcomes in several ways.

It is exciting to share with you that Northeast Delta Dental, as one of the Delta Dental Plans Association’s 39 member companies, is supporting a “first-of-its-kind national organization. This new organization is dedicated to putting a new spotlight on the importance of oral health,” as stated in a recent press release from the Delta Dental Institute, that unveiled its’ purpose to:

 “Pursue a substantive research agenda focused on answering important oral health-related inquiries including: How to reduce costs associated with preventable dental conditions; how to better integrate oral health into wellness programs in ways that improve overall health; how to most effectively integrate medical and dental care to achieve better health outcomes; and how to improve oral health literacy.”

Although there is a rich history of separation for medical health and dental health, Northeast Delta Dental is invested in reversing this outdated understanding. For instance, we took action to reverse this perception through our partnership with Tufts Health Freedom Plan, and by developing the Health through Oral Wellness® (HOW®) program that allows additional cleanings, fluoride, and sealant treatment for people with underlying medical conditions. After its first inception as a pilot program six years ago, I can proudly say that 98.7% of our group policies include the HOW® program today.

We continue to pursue innovative change to help close the medical and dental gaps, and support the Delta Dental Institute to catenate oral health and overall health.

Delta Dental Institute Mission Statement:

The Delta Dental Institute is dedicated to advancing oral health for all Americans in partnership with Delta Dental companies and dedicated partners across the country. With expertise rooted in Delta Dental’s rich history of oral health leadership, we engage in and support oral health research, community outreach, and advocacy, striving to ensure all Americans can have the healthy smile they deserve and live their healthiest lives.

 Find out more at

Tom Raffio
July 2019

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