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A DTA Foundation Innovative Oral Health Pilot Study Published for its Promising Results


A 2013 DTA Foundation / Dental Lifeline Network pilot study was recently published for its promising study on utilizing daily checklists and random inspections in Long-term Care Facilities to reduce dental plaque scores. 


Dental Plaque Scores measure the degree of dental plaque accumulation. These scores can indicate how effective a current home care routine can be on an individual’s oral health and their oral health affects their overall health. Brian Laurence, DDS -- professor and Assistant Dean for research at Howard University -- sought to study the effects of tailored interventions on dental plaque scores in long-term care facilities. 


“This study investigated whether an intervention comprising the daily use of a checklist for oral care by nursing staff supplemented by random inspections by a charge nurse resulted in lower dental plaque scores in patient participants at a long-term care facility as compared with in those at another long-term care facility that did not receive the intervention.” 


Laurence was awarded a DTA Foundation / Dental Lifeline Network grant in 2013 to conduct the pilot study and collected his data and observations up to 2017 before the statistical team at Medstar Health Research Institute conducted the data analysis. He co-authored the pilot study with: 

  • Howard University’s Donna Grant-Mills, Dawn Smith, Adeduntan Barbarinde, and Marvin Thomas 

  • Private Practice Dentistry’s India Rogers

  • Medstar Health Research Institute’s Eshetu Tefera

  • Private Practice Occupational Therapy’s Devlin Champagne


Together they found


“The use of a daily checklist for oral care supplemented by random inspections by a charge nurse was associated with lower plaque scores. These results warrant further research, including prospective studies aimed at establishing how use of both clinical supervision and a checklist for oral health may influence plaque scores in geriatric patients in long-term care facilities over time.”


CLICK HERE to read the full published pilot study online. 


This pilot study was one of eight innovative oral health projects funded by the DTA Foundation in 2013, and the only 2013 project funded through a DTA Foundation and Dental Lifeline Network partnership. The Foundation will fund up to 10 more innovative oral health pilot projects in 2019. These innovative pilot projects would not be possible without funding from our generous donors.