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Salivary Testing Program Launched to Support the Oral Health of Those With Special Needs

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Avēsis, dental, vision, and specialty benefits provider, and Harmony Health, a nonprofit organization committed to using innovative technologies to drive positive change in underserved communities, have teamed up to revolutionize oral healthcare for patients covered by Medicaid with special healthcare needs. Through a year-long pilot program launching in May across California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, they aim to utilize real-time salivary testing and screening to detect diseases early and personalize treatment plans. Saliva, often overlooked, becomes a potent diagnostic tool in this initiative. By simply scanning a test card with a mobile device, patients and providers gain science-backed insights into oral health, enabling tailored preventive plans.

Steve Perlman, DDS, a member of Dimensions of Dental Hygiene’s Editorial Advisory Board and well-respected disabilities advocate known for his contributions to oral healthcare accessibility through initiatives like the Special Olympics Special Smiles Program, remarked, “This initiative represents a monumental step forward in addressing the oral health needs of individuals with special healthcare needs. By integrating innovative salivary screening technologies, machine learning, and easy-to-use smartphone applications into oral healthcare, this pilot not only enhances care but also advances equity and accessibility in oral healthcare for vulnerable populations.”

Each chosen pilot site, selected strategically according to community needs and existing infrastructure, will act as a central hub for advancing preventive dentistry and spearheading value-based care initiatives at a regional level. Click here to learn more

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