Programs & Resource Archive

ACU is committed to reducing the disparities in oral health access and outcomes in the U. S. through transdisciplinary team training and low literacy consumer education.

Oral Health Webinar

Health Literacy: Implications for the Dental Setting
Lois Wessel, RN, CFNP, ACU Associate Director for Programs
Nicole Holland, DDS, ACU Board Member
Presented April 5, 2013 in partnership with the National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA)
*Click here to download the presentation slides.
(CE credit was only available to those who participated in the live webinar)

Oral Health Fact Sheets

These fact sheets are intended to facilitate providing dental treatment to children and adults who have medical conditions which impact the delivery of care. They Identify 15 health conditions common to children and adults in underserved populations. The fact sheets provide a quick overview of these conditions, the drugs frequently used by individuals with these conditions and the impact the drugs may have on oral health.

Additional suggestions for working with this population to improve clinical outcomes, increase professional comfort and engage parents and caregivers in the oral health of these individuals.

Developed by the University of Washington School of Dentistry and the Washington State Department of Health Oral Health Program.

Oral HealthThe Early Childhood Caries Project

The Early Childhood Caries Project (ECCP) is a transdisciplinary health care approach to prevention of dental disease in children ages 0 – 3 years. ACU developed the project in response to a report on the oral health disparities in the United States issued in May 2000 by then-Surgeon General David Satcher. Among the report’s findings was that 80% of tooth decay is found in 25% of America’s children.

Primary care clinicians see infants and toddlers during the first few years of life for routine well child visits. Most of these clinicians receive little or no training in oral examinations and anticipatory guidance for oral health. Most dentists are not involved in the care of young children. Poor children suffer from higher rates of dental disease and often have limited access to dental care. They do not visit a dental provider for preventive care and wait until a problem has arisen to seek dental care. The ACU views early encounters with non-dental clinicians an excellent opportunity to educate the caregiver about the appropriate oral health practices for children, and identify those children at greatest risk of developing dental disease.

The Surgeon General’s report states that oral health is essential to general health and well-being and can be achieved. It is through “transdisciplinary” partnering of the primary care and dental communities that improvements can be made in pediatric oral health. By offering primary care providers training in the scope and epidemiology of the problem, components of a pediatric dental exam, and how to provide anticipatory guidance on the subject, ACU is increasing primary care provider knowledge and ability in the area of children’s oral health.


Prevention of Early Childhood Caries – a webinar presented by Lois Wessel, RN, CFNP, ACU Associate Director for Programs, in conjunction with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers. Listen to the audio presentation and view the slides. This webinar was originally broadcast April 14, 2010. CEU credits are not currently available. Duration: 1 hour, 9 minutes.

Unfortunately, this webinar is no longer available. We apologize for the inconvenience.

With original funding from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ACU developed a training program for primary care providers on preventing early childhood caries. This program is available via a web format or in person. The program defines the scope of the problem and teaches clinicians how to perform oral health assessments and provide anticipatory guidance for families on oral health issues.


ACU’s downloadable resource list is a compilation of information on and links to professional education, advocacy and other oral health resources.

ACU has developed a number of clinical tool cards that serve as a concise pocket-size reference card for busy practitioners. Download samples here:

Policy Brief

Ensuring Oral Health Through a Transdiscplinary Approach by Emanuel Finn, DDS and Scott Wolpin, DMD