Episode 109 – Dr. Jane Grover – The ADA’s Alternative to Dental Therapy: Community Dental Health Coordinators

On this week’s episode of RTBB Dr. Zeller interviews Dr. Jane Grover. Dr. Grover is currently the Director of Council on Access, Prevention, and Relations at the American Dental Association. Dr. Grover is the expert on the ADA’s program for Community Dental Health Coordinators. This program is a module based curriculum  intended to give members of the dental community the skills to help better navigate and coordinate the dental system for patients and dental teams. She compares the training to that acquired by community healthcare workers, crucial members of healthcare teams throughout the world. Dr. Grover believes that this program addresses access to care issues in dentistry.

Topics of discussion include:

  • Meet our guest
  • History of Community Dental Health Coordinator program
  • International use of community health workers
  • How to improve navigation and coordination of dental care
  • Stakeholders in CDHC program
  • Description of training program
  • Program currently offered to hygienists, dental assistants, and community health workers.
  • Examples of dental-medical integration
  • How to integrate CDHC’s in your community
  • Measuring success
  • Obstacles for integrating CDHC’s
  • Trainee satisfaction


Jane S. Grover, D.D.S., M.P.H. currently acts as the Director to the Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations (CAPIR) in the division of Government/Public Affairs at the American Dental Association (ADA). Dr. Grover provides leadership, vision, management and coordination of the ADA’s activities in the areas of access to dental care, fluoridation and preventive activities, and integrating oral health as an essential part of overall health.

Dr. Grover most recently served as the dental director for the Center for Family Health, a federally qualified health center in Jackson, Mich. In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and Lutheran Medical Center of New York. She has been active in organized dentistry, first as a trustee of the Michigan Dental Association, and also on the ADA Strategic Planning Committee in the 1990s. She completed five years on the ADA Political Action Committee, serving 2003-2005 as chair. She served as vice-president of the ADA from October 2006 until October 2008.

Dr. Grover received her D.D.S. degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and her M.P.H. degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Court Said No, So Kentucky Cuts Dental for over 400,000 Medicaid Beneficiaries

Last week, Kentucky governor Matt Bevin (R) proposed changes to their states health plan known as Kentucky HEALTH. Upon review of these changes, the court ruled AGAINST implementation of these changes mostly due to one key suggestion – the addition of a “community engagement” requirement that would require enrollees to work, volunteer, or job train for 80 hours a month in exchange for insurance – so Kentucky’s  version of a work requirement. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokesman wrote in an email that the state made it clear that dental and vision would be cut without implementation of the governor’s suggested changes to the Kentucky Health plan.

And so they were. Now 460,000 Medicaid beneficiaries are left without dental, vision, as well as transportation to their appointments. This transportation cannot be minimized as it is transportation assistance benefits for trips like dialysis and substance use disorder treatment.

Dentistry in the News – Case of the Stolen Gold Tooth

This week the Buffalo News released a story titled:

Man Loses Gold Tooth and Pants at Gunpoint

The title ALMOST says it all. But to be sure there are no questions left unanswered, two men stole a bunch of stuff from a man in Buffalo, New York. At gunpoint. A list of these items include:

  • cash
  • car keys
  • cellphone
  • sneakers
  • pants
  • gold tooth

The thieves were caught. Most of the stolen property was returned. I know what you’re wondering. The answer is I don’t know. The police reports were not clear about whether said gold tooth was returned to the man. But it did get me thinking.

We have all had patients that wanted to take home “gifts from the dentist”. Sometimes that means a baby tooth. Sometimes that means a decayed first molar. Sometimes that means a gold crown. Every time I ask what exactly it is they plan to do with their new swag. I have heard the following:

  • make a necklace out of it
  • include it in a piece of art
  • melt it down, to create jewelry
  • send the gold in for money
  • “I keep all my children’s teeth.”

So the question is, how often do these teeth or leftover teeth accessories, get stolen, before the above plans occur? And more importantly, will insurance cover this? How does the patient send proof? Lab slips? Should I be advising patients to keep their swag in their safes at home? Do people still have safes at home?

They never taught me about this kind of stuff in school.