Grooving on the Sealant Metric!

by User Not Found | May 04, 2017

There’s more to sealants than protecting the grooves and pits of molars. For the youngest members of our community, the prevalence of dental caries is high for a disease that is preventable. As a strategy to address this chronic childhood disease, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) developed a sealant metric to reduce and prevent dental caries among children ages 6 through 14.

Quality metrics are a fairly new concept to dental. Per the OHA’s Office of Health Analytics, state quality health metrics are measures “to show how well Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) are improving care, making quality care accessible, eliminating health disparities and curbing the cost of health care.” CCOs have 17 quality metrics (15 for primary care, 2 for dental), which include sealants and the oral health portion of the assessment for children in DHS custody. Meeting these metrics requires intricate collaboration and coordination from the state, CCOs, health plans, clinics and, ultimately, individual healthcare providers and staff.

In 2012, the state of Oregon created CCOs to improve health care through better coordination and information sharing between physical, dental, and behavioral health providers. At that same time, the patient-centered care model was being widely adopted, focusing on prevention. These series of events changed the state’s healthcare structure and gave rise to state quality health metrics. There are currently 16 CCOs across the state.

CareOregon Dental, as a Dental Care Organization (DCO), participates in the sealant metric for our CCO partners, Health Share of Oregon and FamilyCare. We have met the sealant metric goal each time since reporting began two years ago. This couldn’t be possible without the care given by the clinics, providers and staff we work closely with. One child at a time, we can reduce this burden of disease experienced by the youngest members of our community.

If you’re interested in learning more about the OHA metrics, please visit or send an email to with questions.

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