The West Virginia Medicaid program is now reimbursing non-dental healthcare professionals for the application of fluoride varnish with the primary goal of reducing the rates of early childhood caries.
The focus of the Fluoride Varnish Project is to educate healthcare professionals on caries risk assessment, fluoride varnish application, and facilitation of the age one dental visit. According to recent oral health surveillance conducted in West Virginia, 34% of preschoolers had dental decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates tooth decay (dental caries) as the leading chronic infectious disease for children in the United States. Tooth decay causes pain and infections that may lead to other health problems and can also effect eating, speaking, playing and learning. The good news is that tooth decay is virtually 100% preventable. Fluoride varnish application in young children is recommended as a preventative measure to reduce caries incidence in this young demographic. Children see their pediatrician an average of 11 times prior to seeing a dentist.
As of December 1, 2016, there is no longer a training requirement to provide fluoride varnish services. The Oral Health Program recommends the Smiles for Life Curriculum
Course 6: Caries Risk Assessment, Fluoride Varnish and Counseling as an excellent source of evidence-based information, as well as a source of FREE continuing education units (CEUs).
If you would like more information about the Fluoride Varnish Project and how you can implement services for your patients, please submit an inquiry via the Contact Us
section of this website, or call the Oral Health Program at 1-800-642-8522 or 304-558-5388.