Apple Tree Dental and West Health Collaborate on Peer-Reviewed Study on Dental Care for Older Adults


In May 2020, peer-reviewed scientific journal PLOS One published a research article studying the cost and dental utilization patterns for older adults in outpatient and long-term care settings in Minnesota.  Apple Tree Dental’s own Dr. Barbara J. Smith (co-founder and current Board member), Dr. Michael J. Helgeson (co-founder and current CEO) and Brenda Prosa (Information Systems Director) helped to author the article, along with colleagues from West Health, including Tracy Finlayson, Mario Orozco, Padideh Asgari, Ian Pierce, Gregory Norman, and Eliah Aronoff-Spencer.  

According to the study, the costs of providing comprehensive dental care to older adults in long-term care settings were “modest and declined over time,” which suggests that policymakers should address the oral health needs of these older adults, and consider adding coverage for comprehensive dental care to future policies.  

The research article is available in its entirety and can be found at 

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