UFCD’s Luisa Echeto, D.D.S., M.S., FACP, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Restorative Dental Sciences Division of Prosthodontics, received a $12,000 educational grant from the American College of Prosthodontics, or ACP, Education Foundation and the Colgate Palmolive Company for her participation in the Prevention, Maintenance and Supportive Care Curriculum Pilot Program. UF was chosen as one of two universities in the country to participate in the pilot program.
Echeto, who was appointed Director of Patient Assignment and Screening at the college in fall 2018, provides oversight of overall operations of a new, centralized predoctoral screening clinic where people interested in becoming patients in the DMD clinics are assessed and assigned. Another focus of the new clinic, and Echeto’s role, is implementing an efficient referral program to resident specialty clinics or UFCD’s faculty practice clinic.
“It is quite an honor that we have been selected for this important project,” Echeto said. “I am looking forward to working with such an excellent group of faculty, staff and students in the promotion of patient wellness at UFCD. Future dentists and prosthodontists should educate their patients on the importance of recalls, prevention and maintenance care while evaluating the treatment outcome. These evaluations give dentists an important opportunity to look back on their work and learn from it.”
With sponsorship from the ACP Education Foundation and Colgate, Echeto and her colleagues will work the next 12 to 18 months to cultivate the centralized experience, which will include the development of several protocols and reports:
- Development of an interdisciplinary health promotion, risk assessment, disease prevention, recall and home maintenance protocol for patients
- The designation of clinical chairs in general dentistry for wellness and patient recall interval appointments, which will also be implemented with faculty in the specialty care areas of prosthodontics, operative dentistry, general dentistry, periodontics and endodontics
- The development of a ‘Patient Health Profile’ report using the college’s patient clinical management system to integrate patient risk assessments and produce an individualized patient report to assist with home maintenance recommendations
DMD students will play an integral role in delivering oral health and prevention messaging, as well as following up on the effectiveness of oral health maintenance at home with patients who are cared for in the DMD clinics, therefore Echeto’s plan integrates goal number one’s protocol – health promotion, risk assessment, disease prevention, recall intervals and home maintenance – across the college’s curriculum.
A prosthodontics case completion competency assessment in the students’ final year of dental school will be expanded to include patient recall and home maintenance components.
Funding from the grant will primarily be used to develop individualized Patient Health Profiles, and also to create home care pamphlets for participating patients and supply preventative aids like toothpaste, fluoride rinses and toothbrushes to low-income participating patients.
Echeto’s team also plans to organize a “Prevention Week” to promote a culture for wellness among faculty, students and patients that will culminate with UF’s exciting Summer Sealant Program for children in the Head Start program – who are from low-income households, are homeless or in foster care, or have diagnosed disabilities.