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J Dent Educ. 2003 Dec;67(12):1337-44.

The American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry: eliminating health disparities for individuals with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Dentistry, Memphis 38163, USA.


Recent reports by Special Olympics International and the U.S. Surgeon General have revealed significant disparities and unmet health needs encountered by persons with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities (MR/DD). Factors contributing to these disparities include deinstitutionalization, increased survival of individuals with MR/DD, lack of appropriately trained providers, and inadequate financing of dental services. To address these problems, a group of academically oriented dentists and physicians formed the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD). The mission of the AADMD is to improve the quality of health services provided to persons with MR/DD by improving dental and medical school-based training of dentists and enhancing clinically relevant research. A central theme of the AADMD is full collaboration between physicians and dentists in meeting its goals. The National Action Strategy developed by the AADMD focuses on creating a series of university-based Developmental Medicine and Dentistry Programs (UDMDPs) in medical and dental schools, which collaborate in service, teaching, and research with community-based primary care clinics, community hospitals, intermediate care facilities, and other private service delivery systems such as the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Program that serve these patients. Oral-systemic interactions will receive special emphasis by the training and research programs.

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