Many of us already visit our primary care doctors and have a regular medical home. But did you know you can also have a dental home?

“A dental home is where you go to get your routine dental care and emergency dental care. You can choose your primary dental care provider, or your dental plan will help you find one. The benefit of having a dental home is that you get to know the staff and they get to know you, according to James H. Tyack, a dental care provider who works with Columbia Pacific CCO members with Oregon Health Plan in Astoria, Clatskanie and St. Helens.

“They’ll remind you when it’s time for your cleaning and do your routine exams and fillings. And if you need emergency care, you can get it faster if you already have a dental home — no emergency room waits.”

Your dental home has your dental records and provides care covered by your Oregon Health Plan benefits. It provides family friendly information about oral health and care. A dental home can also help connect you with other health professionals or with your health plan to coordinate services. If you need a ride or an interpreter, your dental home knows how to help.

“Even children need a dental home. Getting your child to the dentist by the first birthday helps prevent cavities., Dr. Tyack continued. “Regular dental care means problems are spotted early. Your child will have less fear about the dentist and can get referrals to specialists when necessary.”

Denture wearers can also benefit from a dental home. Your dental team will make sure your dentures fit properly, take routine X-rays and perform an oral cancer screening.

Diabetes, pregnancy, heart disease, smoking or chewing tobacco and other health conditions can affect your oral health. Sometimes dental problems can make these conditions worse. Your dental home can help keep your mouth healthy.

If you don’t have a dental home, call the dental plan number on your Columbia Pacific CCO member card. Look for Advantage, Capitol, ODS or Willamette Dental. Your plan will connect you with a dentist in your area. Or feel free to call Columbia Pacific CCO’s Customer Service 503-488-2822, or text 503-488-2886, and they will connect you to your dental plan.

Creating health together: Tyack provides dental care for Columbia Pacific CCO members who are on the Oregon Health Plan. Established in September 2012, Columbia Pacific CCO coordinates health services for more than 25,000 Oregon Health Plan members in Columbia, Clatsop and Tillamook counties. You can learn more about our services on our website at or on Facebook.

Patti Atkins is communications consultant for Columbia Pacific COO.

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