Access to Oral Health Care in Iowa: Equal, Equitable, or Neither?


The cost for this online course is $15. The estimated time to complete this course is 45 minutes. Learners will be asked to complete an activity post-assessment with a passing score of 75%.

You must log in or create an account before enrolling in this educational activity. 

Once you register for the course, you will have 30 days from the date of enrollment to complete the course. The date your access expires will be indicated in the Course Summary box on this webpage.

Target Audience

Healthcare professionals.

Educational Need

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children, five times more common than asthma. Despite being highly preventable, the American Academy for Pediatrics states that nearly 1 in 4 children ages 2-5 experience dental cavities. Dental treatment at this young age often requires outpatient surgery to treat effectively. Left untreated, children with active tooth decay may experience mouth pain, difficulty learning and concentrating, impaired eating, and delayed speech development.

Cavity Free Iowa is a medical-dental initiative launched in 2017 focused on early oral health care and prevention of early childhood caries. Recognizing that young children often see their primary care provider on a routine basis for well-child visits, the goal of Cavity Free Iowa is to increase the number of children ages 0-35 months receiving preventive oral health services and dental referrals. As regional I-Smile Coordinators, dental hygienists are providing onsite oral health training for medical clinic staff to do oral screenings, risk assessments, fluoride varnish applications, and referrals to local dentists.


  1. Proclaim that oral health care is medical healthcare.
  2. Define Social Determinants of Health, Equity, and Equality.
  3. Show you how we are doing in the State of Iowa.
  4. Present some solutions to the problem in our state.
  5. Define your role as a healthcare provider.


Maren Lenhart, MPH
Community Impact Analyst, Delta Dental of Iowa


  • Master of Public Health - Des Moines University

J. Michael Metts, DO, FAAP
Pediatrician, MercyOne

Dr. Metts completed his residency in pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated with his medical degree from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Metts has served as the founding member and medical director of the Pediatric Hospitalist Program at MercyOne Children’s Hospital. He served as the Chairman of the Department of Pediatric Medicine and Specialty Medicine from 2002 to 2015 at Des Moines University. Dr. Metts is the Iowa American Academy of Pediatrics Oral Health Advocate and the Iowa State Champion for the 100 Million Mouths Campaign, working to increase oral healthcare knowledge and training for healthcare students and providers. He has partnered with the MercyOne Quality Committee and the American Cancer Society to deliver a curriculum on increasing vaccination rates against HPV-related cancers to other medical providers. Dr. Metts is active in the community as a member of Cavity Free Iowa, focused on improving the oral health of children 0-36 months of age in Iowa, providing fluoride varnish training to primary care providers, and developing relationships to improve medical-dental integration.

Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Recording date: December 6, 2023
Date of original release: December 6, 2023
Most recent review/update: December 6, 2023
Termination date: December 5, 2025

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 0.75 AOA Category 1­B
  • 0.75 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 0.75 CPME
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Accreditation Statements

  • MD: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS). Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the IMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this enduring materials activity for a maximum of 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
  • DO: Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to provide osteopathic continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this activity for a maximum of 0.75 AOA Category 1-B credits and will report CME and specialty credits commensurate with the extent of the physician’s participation in this activity.
  • DPM: Des Moines University (DMU) is approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education as a provider of continuing education in podiatric medicine. DMU has approved this activity for a maximum of 0.75 continuing education contact hours.
  • Other Healthcare Professionals: This enduring materials activity is designated for a maximum of 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

Educational Grants

No ineligible company provided financial support for this continuing education activity. 


The planning committee member(s) and speaker(s) will disclose if any pharmaceuticals or medical procedures and devices discussed are investigational or unapproved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The determination of educational content and the selection of speakers is the responsibility of the activity director. 

Relevant to the content of this educational activity, the following individual(s) have no conflict(s) with ineligible companies to disclose.

  • Maren Lenhart, MPH - Speaker
  • J. Michael Metts, DO, FAAP - Speaker


The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only. It is not a substitute for a healthcare provider's independent medical judgment regarding diagnostic and treatment options for a specific patient's medical condition. The content of this educational offering does not reflect the views of Des Moines University.

Available Credit

  • 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 0.75 AOA Category 1­B
  • 0.75 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 0.75 CPME


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