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NRHA releases 2020 Compendium of Rural Oral Health Best Practices

Research shows rural populations have lower dental care utilization, higher rates of dental caries, lower rates of insurance, higher rates of poverty, less water fluoridation, fewer dentists per population, and greater travel distances to access care compared to urban populations. Improving the oral health of rural populations requires innovative practices and flexible approaches to expand and better distribute the rural oral health workforce, including approaches tailored to remote areas.

As oral health issues have long impacted those living in rural communities, the activities in this compendium have been designed to not only enhance access to quality oral health care, but to share knowledge of best practices with others serving rural communities. The National Rural Oral Health Initiative is the combined effort of the National Rural Health Association and the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement to improve oral health disparities in rural America through policy, communications, education, and research.

NRHA's 2020 Compendium of Rural Oral Health Best Practices is a product of that collaboration. The initiative is primarily intended to share and highlight best practices, models, research, and policies from around the United States that can be built upon in rural communities.

"I am proud of the work NRHA has continued to do alongside communities to advance improvements to rural oral health care access," says NRHA CEO Alan Morgan. "We will continue to remain steadfast in our mission to work in this area."

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