Appalachian Geriatric Dental Program
This bi-monthly outreach program provides dental care to an underserved
elderly population in 10 counties of the Appalachian region of
The Appalachian Region:
• 200,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the
Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern
• It includes all of West Virginia and parts of twelve other states:
Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North
Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and
• About 23 million people live in the 410 counties of the
• 42 percent of the Region's population is rural, compared with 20
percent of the national population.
The status of oral health among the elderly in Appalachia is far
from adequate since 40% of adults aged 65 and older are edentulous
(without natural teeth) and 23% have severe periodontal disease.
Factors that Contribute to Lack of Access to Oral Health Care among
• Lack of finance
• Lack of transportation
• Shortage or maldistribution of trained professionals
• Perceived lack of need for oral health
Bringing Mobile Dental Care to Appalachia . . .
• The Columbus Dispatch printed a series of articles highlighting
the Appalachian region of Ohio and the many problems faced by the
region, including the poor dental care and significant tooth loss
among the population.
• A pilot program was initiated to bring mobile dental care to the
• After successful completion of the pilot project, the AAA #7 Inc.
decided to expand the mobile dental clinic into all ten counties of
southern Ohio, including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson,
Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto, and Vinton.
Goals of the Appalachian Geriatric Dental Program
• Increase and diversify the OSU geriatric dental program while
broadening the education experiences of its students
• Reach underserved low income people who are lacking access to
Director of Program: Abdel R. Mohammad, DDS,MS,MPH
Faculty: Reza Heshmati, DDS, MS, MPH
Coordinator: Carol Orders, CDA, BS