Although fluoridation was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the twentieth century, Massachusetts ranks thirty-fifth in the nation for access to this preventive oral health measure. Low-income Massachusetts residents in particular face significant barriers to oral health services; community water fluoridation would substantially reduce dental decay and other oral health problems.
Dr. Michelle Henshaw, director of the school's Division of Community Health Programs, is principal investigator on the grant; Dr. Wanda Wright, assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research, is the coprincipal investigator.
BUSDM leads NECREED, established in 2001 with a $10 million NIH grant, in partnership with The Forsyth Institute, Boston Medical Center, the Boston Public Health Commission, Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, and Harvard University. Despite progress in reducing dental caries, tooth decay remains one of the most common diseases of childhood, particularly among poor children and children from minority racial and ethnic groups. The NECREED, headed by Dr. Raul Garcia, chair of BUSDM's Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research, focuses on reducing early childhood caries.
SOURCE: Boston University School of Dental Medicine