Q: What is the role of the Arkansas Office of Oral Health?
Answer: The Vision Statement for the Office of Oral Health is "Optimum oral health for every citizen of Arkansas." To that end, the Office provides resources and support for counties, communities, neighborhoods, schools, and professional groups to address oral health needs and disparities.
Q: What is water fluoridation?
Answer: All water supplies in the world contain some fluoride. Water fluoridation is the adjustment of that fluoride level to the level known to prevent dental caries (tooth decay).
Q: Why should my community or water district be fluoridated?
Answer: Adjusting the level of fluoride to the recommended level for caries prevention can prevent 40-60% of all tooth decay in children, adults and the elderly. The Office of Oral Health helps communities obtain funding for fluoridation equipment, training and technical assistance. Water supplies then must only pay for the fluoride itself. Fluoridation costs less than 50 cents per person per year. A lifetime of fluoridation costs less than one dental filling.
Q: What is the P.A.N.D.A. program?
Answer: P.A.N.D.A. stands for Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness. It is an educational and awareness program designed to help health care professionals and others in how to help prevent family violence (child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and elder abuse and neglect).
Q: How do I gather information on oral health conditions in my community?
Answer: The Office of Oral Health assists schools, community groups and professional organizations in conducting dental screenings and other data gathering efforts. For information on dental screenings, contact the Office of Oral Health at 501-661-2051.
Q: How do I get Medicaid or AR Kids First for my child's dental needs?
Answer: Contact the Department of Human Services at 1-888-474-8275 or online at http://www.arkidsfirst.com/apply.htm
Q: I am over 21, have dental problems and can't afford dental care. How do I get help?
Answer: Resources are available from a number of different groups.
- You can contact the Arkansas State Dental Association at 501-771-7650 or 501-834-7650 for a referral to a dentist in your area.
- If you are medically-compromised, you can contact the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program at 501-221-3033 or 800-932-8247.
- You can contact the Community Health Center in your area. Community Health Centers are federally-funded clinics that treat patients based on a "sliding scale," meaning that they charge for their services based on what patients can afford. For information on your closest community health center, contact Community Health Centers of Arkansas at 501-374-8225.