While the dental home concept is clearly articulated by organized dentistry and accepted as policy, its widespread adoption and implementation will require consideration of environmental factors that include:
- the advent of social medicine
- expanding knowledge of caries risk and its management;
- trends in oral health disparities and the demography that drives those disparities;
- parents’ perceived needs for, and barriers to, dental care;
- dentistry’s relationship to medicine as a profession; and
- dental services capacity.
Issues of cost and effectiveness will impact implementation decisions regarding how the most vulnerable children will benefit and how the medical and dental homes will coordinate.
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