Improving Access to Oral Healthcare: A Snapshot of State Initiatives There are a number of states pursuing strategies to improve oral health outcomes, such as primary care and dental care integration, workforce innovations, and care delivery innovations. Several states are exploring ways to improve access to oral health services in their jurisdictions, methods that have either been enacted or introduced in the current legislative session. (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO))
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Dental Public Health
Consumer Survey of Barriers to and Facilitators of Access to Oral Health Services (March 2019) Study describes the extent to which adults in the US were unable to obtain necessary oral health care in the past year, the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of population groups that experienced a lack of access to oral health care services, the most critical access barriers to oral health services, and unique access barriers for different underserved population groups. (Center for Health Workforce Studies)
Texas Public Health Association and Public Health Region VI Feature Section: 'Oral Health: Targeting Rural Areas' (April 2019) A series of papers discussing oral health access and outreach to rural communities. (Texas Public Health Association)
FDA In Brief: FDA proposes updated standards for fluoride added to bottled water to maximize health benefits while avoiding excess exposure The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today released a proposed rule, “Proposed Rule to Revise the Allowable Level of Fluoride in Bottled Water to which Fluoride Has Been Added,” to lower the allowable level of fluoride in bottled water to which fluoride is added by the manufacturer to 0.7 mg/L to be consistent with the 2015 recommendation by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) for community water systems that add fluoride for the prevention of dental caries. (U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), HHS)
Awareness Among US Adults of Dental Sealants for Caries Prevention Study assessed knowledge of dental sealants among US adults and adult parents of children younger than 18 and the differences in knowledge among demographic and socioeconomic groups. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS)
Drilling Down on Dental Coverage and Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries This brief reviews the state of oral health for people on Medicare. It describes the consequences of foregoing dental care, current sources of dental coverage, use of dental services, and related out-of-pocket spending. (Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF))
Case Studies of 6 Safety Net Organizations That Integrate Oral and Mental/Behavioral Health With Primary Care Services (2019) Study describes efforts in federally qualified health centers in the United States to integrate oral health and mental/behavioral health service delivery with primary care. (Center for Health Workforce Studies)
Open Wide for Opportunity: Medicaid’s Leadership in a New Vision of Oral Health for Colorado Paper examines the evidence behind oral health strategies, what other states have pursued, and what it would take for Colorado to implement its own approach. (Colorado Health Institute)
National Children’s Dental Health Month: Resources for Local Health Departments February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM), a month-long national health observance to promote the oral health of children and families. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) joins the month’s sponsor, the American Dental Association, in providing resources for local health departments and health professionals to use and share. (National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO))
Use of Toothpaste and Toothbrushing Patterns Among Children and Adolescents — United States, 2013–2016 In a survey of toothbrushing practices, nearly 80% of children aged 3–15 years began toothbrushing at age ≥1 year, approximately one third brushed once daily, and nearly 40% of children aged 3–6 years used too much toothpaste. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR))
Efforts to Expand Access to Oral Health Care to Continue in 2019 In 2019, many states are likely to continue efforts to expand access to dental care to more of their residents through multiple approaches, including extending dental coverage to those newly eligible for Medicaid and making greater use of dental therapists. (Pew Charitable Trusts)
Approaches for Improving Oral Health Outcomes for Low Income Americans Blog post highlights state strategies to improve oral health outcomes. (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO))
Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care: Communication, Coordination and Referral This discussion paper focuses on some particularly challenging aspects of bridging primary care and oral health care for low health literacy populations. Because of the lack of physical proximity between most dental and medical practices, even in some co-located places, many patients and providers have difficulty navigating this divide. (National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM))
Closing the Gap on Dental HPSAs: Louisiana Oral Health Workforce Assessment (August 2018) In order to understand the challenges and successes related to oral health in Louisiana and trying to identify how the entire health care community can more effectively address oral health needs, the Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health (BPCRH) undertook a comprehensive assessment of the oral health system in Louisiana. (Louisiana Department of Health)
When Regulations Block Access to Oral Health Care, Children at Risk Suffer This brief describes a range of state-based regulations or policies that either limit or prohibit dental hygienists from sealing children's teeth at school, or create financial burdens that work against the expansion of school sealant programs. (Pew Charitable Trusts)
To Improve Health Disparities, Focus on Oral Health A team from our Clinical Scholars program believes that addressing oral health disparities can improve overall health and well-being, and help end cycles of poverty. They are bringing oral health to the community through school clinics, an app and an oral health protocol development for nurses, physicians, dentists and dental hygienists. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))
Notice To Announce Commission of a Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health The U.S. Public Health Service's Oral Health Coordinating Committee announces the commission of a Surgeon General's Report presenting prominent issues affecting oral health. The report will document progress in oral health in the twenty years since the 2000 Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health, identify existing knowledge gaps, and articulate a vision for the future. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS))
Dentists Play Vital Role in Addressing Opioid Crisis A commentary by the directors of the NIDCR and NIDA notes that dentists can play a vital role in helping to address the nation's opioid crisis. The coauthors outline NIH-funded research and initiatives that aim to inform clinical decision making related to opioid prescribing. (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), NIH)
State Strategies to Incorporate Oral Health into Medicaid Payment and Delivery Models for People with Chronic Medical Conditions Report provides recommendations from state leaders on first steps to incorporating oral health, such as sharing Medicaid health home members' dental data with both dental and medical providers and including oral health questions in health home screening tools. (National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP))
An Oral Health Benefit in Medicare Part B: It's Time to Include Oral Health in Health Care (2018) This white paper discusses the need and support for adding comprehensive oral health coverage to Medicare and proposes how a comprehensive oral health benefit could be integrated into Medicare Part B. (Oral Health America)
American Association for Community Dental Programs AACDP supports the efforts of those with an interest in serving the oral health needs of vulnerable populations at the community level. Members include staff of city, county, and community-based health programs with an interest in oral health issues and access to care.
American Association of Public Health Dentistry Founded in 1937, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) provides a focus for meeting the challenge to improve oral health. AAPHD membership is open to all individuals concerned with improving the oral health of the public.
American Dental Association (ADA) The not-for-profit American Dental Association is the nation's largest dental association that works to advance the dental profession on the national, state and local level. The ADA is committed to its members and to the improvement of oral health for the public. (American Dental Association)
Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) National non-profit organization representing the directors and staff of state public health agency programs for oral health.
Centers for Disease Control: Division of Oral Health The CDC's Division of Oral Health (DOH) works to improve the oral health of the nation and to reduce inequalities in oral health. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS)
HRSA: Oral Health HRSA works to improve the oral health of underserved people by exploring ways to improve access to oral health care, increase awareness of the connection between oral health and overall health, promote prevention, and improve oral health literacy to health providers and patients alike. (Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS)
Hispanic Dental Association The Hispanic Dental Association is the only national organization of dental professionals dedicated to promoting and improving the oral health of the Hispanic community and providing advocacy for Hispanic oral health professionals across the United States.
IHS Dental Portal The purpose of the Dental Portal is to have one place where staff who work in Indian healthcare can locate essential resources to support to the operation of effective clinical and community dental programs. (Indian Health Service (IHS))
NRHA National Rural Oral Health Initiative The National Rural Oral Health Initiative is the combined effort of the National Rural Health Association and the DentaQuest Foundation to improve oral health disparities in rural America through policy, communications, education and research. (National Rural Health Association (NRHA))
National Dental Association The mission of the National Dental Association is to represent the concerns of ethnic minorities in dentistry, to elevate the global oral health concerns of underserved communities, to enhance educational and financial opportunities, and public policy awareness, for its members, and to recruit underrepresented minorities into the profession through advocacy and mentorship.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) The mission of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is to improve oral, dental and craniofacial health through research, research training, and the dissemination of health information. (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), NIH)
National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center The purpose of the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) is to respond to the needs of states and communities in addressing current and emerging public oral health issues. OHRC supports health professionals, program administrators, educators, policymakers, and others with the goal of improving oral health services for infants, children, adolescents, and their families. The resource center collaborates with federal, state, and local agencies; national and state organizations and associations; and foundations to gather, develop, and share quality and valued information and materials.
National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) NNOHA's mission is to improve the oral health of underserved populations and contribute to overall health through leadership, advocacy, and support to oral health providers in safety-net systems.
Oral Health Workforce Research Center (OHWRC) OHWRC is based at the Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) at the School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York. OHWRC provides timely, accurate data and conducts policy relevant research to assist in future health workforce planning. (State University of New York, University at Albany, School of Public Health)
Public Health Foundation (PHF) Dedicated to achieving healthy communities through research, training, and technical assistance. For more than 35 years, this national, non-profit organization has been creating new information and helping health agencies and other community health organizations connect to and more effectively use information to manage and improve performance, understand and use data, and strengthen the workforce.
Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) The Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE) is an independent, international professional association made up of a diverse membership of health education professionals and students. The Society promotes healthy behaviors, healthy communities, and healthy environments through its membership, its network of local chapters, and its numerous partnerships with other organizations.
Tribal Oral Health Initiative Initiative to explore solutions and develop recommendations to address oral health disparities and lack of access to oral health treatment and prevention services in Indian Country. (National Indian Health Board)
Dental Public Health Listserv Email list to facilitate discussion of issues relating to Public Health as it relates to dental issues. The list is limited to public health professionals and policy makers interested in dental issues. This list is not affiliated with any professional organization or group. (University of Pittsburgh)
OHRC Electronic Lists and Newsletters Email lists and electronic newsletters related to oral health. (National Maternal and Child Health Oral Health Resource Center)
American Dental Association: Accreditation Standards for Dental Public Health Detailed accreditation standards for institutions with a dental public health program. The standards were updated in 2014.
Oral Health Information Tutorial This tutorial focuses on improving access to and awareness of reliable information resources, as well as integrating the best evidence from these resources into public health dental practice and educational activities. (University of Texas, Health Science Center at San Antonio)
Smiles for Life Oral Health Curriculum The Smiles for Life curriculum consists of eight 45-minute modules covering core areas of oral health relevant to health professionals, including child oral health, adult oral health, pregnancy, and geriatric oral health. (Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM))
AHRQ's Grants On-Line Database Searchable database of grants funded by AHRQ. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HHS)
American Dental Association Foundation Grants/Scholarships The ADA Foundation has several grants available for dental professionals and others. (American Dental Association)
American Dental Hygienists' Association Institute for Oral Health The American Dental Hygienists' Association Institute for Oral Health offers grants for research and community service.
Clinical Research to Improve the Oral Health of Older Adults (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Funding to stimulate exploratory or developmental research that can help to inform future, targeted interventions to address risk factors, access barriers, oral health promotion and disease prevention strategies, and clinical management of dental, oral, and craniofacial (DOC) diseases associated with aging. (National Institutes of Health (NIH), HHS)
Community Response Fund DentaQuest's Community Response Fund supports small, one-time grants that address access to oral health care. (DentaQuest Institute)
Dental Reimbursement Program The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) Part F Dental Reimbursement Program (DRP) improves access to oral health care services for low-income, uninsured and underserved people living with HIV (PLWH) and trains dental and hygiene students and dental residents to deliver dental care to PLWH. The DRP accomplishes this by defraying a portion of unreimbursed dental care costs for low-income, uninsured, and underserved PLWH incurred by accredited dental or dental hygiene education programs recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. (Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS)
Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) Open Opportunities Comprising six bureaus and 12 offices, HRSA provides leadership and financial support to health care providers in every state and U.S. territory. HRSA grantees provide health care to uninsured people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women, mothers and children. They train health professionals and improve systems of care in rural communities. (Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS)
Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Grants Grants support community-based initiatives to provide dental care for underserved/limited access children. (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) - Grants and Funding NIDCR is the nation's leading funder of oral, dental, and craniofacial research. (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), NIH)
Oral Health in People Living with HIV and Additional Non-Communicable Diseases (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages research to address gaps in our knowledge of the oral health status of people living with HIV (PLWH) with an emphasis on PWLH who also have non-communicable diseases (NCDs). (National Institutes of Health (NIH), HHS)
AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange - Dental Health Care Innovations and quality tools to develop oral health education, prevention, and treatment programs. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HHS)
Bright Futures Toolbox This toolbox highlights materials that advance the Bright Futures philosophy of promoting and improving the oral health of infants, children, and adolescents. (National Maternal and Child Health Oral Health Resource Center)
Community Water Fluoridation Communications Toolkit NACCHO's new Community Water Fluoridation Communications Toolkit has resources to help local health departments and other organizations educate and inform their communities about the benefits of fluoridation. (National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO))
Dental Devices This site includes FDA's public health notifications, advice for patients, and related consumer health information on dental devices. (U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), HHS)
Health Reach: Dental Care Resources Oral hygiene and dental health resources for patients and consumers in multiple languages. (National Library of Medicine (NLM), NIH)
MedlinePlus - Mouth and Teeth Topics Consumer health information from MedlinePlus on topics related to the mouth and teeth.
Mouth Healthy A consumer site from the American Dental Association with information on habits, concerns, and nutrition for all life stages. (American Dental Association)
My Water's Flouride My Water's Fluoride (MWF) allows consumers to learn about the fluoride level in their drinking water. Also, you can find out the number of people served by the system and the water source. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS)
NIDCR (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) - Oral Health Information Oral health information for the consumer from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), NIH)
Oral Health in Rural Communities Resources, organizations, funding, and news about rural oral health. (Rural Health Information Hub)
SmileConnect An online portal to connect children in need to available health resources. (Altarum Institute)
The Oral Health Website Website aims to help communities, governments, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and private businesses start or enhance community-based oral health programs for older adults. Site includes a searchable database of community-based oral health programs and an oral health guide: The Community Guide to Adult Oral Health Program Implementation. (Administration for Community Living (ACL), HHS)
healthfinder.gov Consumer dental and oral health information can be found on healthfinder.gov, a site by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) and its health information referral service, the National Health Information Center.
ADA Health Policy Institute The Health Policy Institute (HPI) aims to be a thought leader and trusted source for critical policy knowledge related to the U.S. dental care system. HPI achieves this by generating, synthesizing, and disseminating innovative research on a variety of topics that are relevant to policy makers, health care advocates, and providers within the U.S. dental care system. (American Dental Association)
ASTDD Dental Public Health Resources Committee ASTDD works with a broad array of federal, state and local public and private partners to educate decision-makers on dental public health issues and concerns of state oral health programs. ASTDD policy documents include issue briefs, position papers, policy statements and resolutions to reflect the Association's priorities and stance on dental public health issues. (Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors)
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry The mission of the AAPD is to advocate policies, guidelines and programs that promote optimal oral health and oral health care for children. The AAPD serves and represents its membership in the areas of professional development and governmental and legislative activities.
H.R.2422 - Action for Dental Health Act of 2018 Legislation that allows HHS to award grants or enter into contracts to collaborate with state, county, or local public officials and other stakeholders to develop and implement initiatives to: (1) improve oral health education and dental disease prevention; (2) reduce geographic barriers, language barriers, cultural barriers, and other similar barriers in the provision of dental services; (3) establish dental homes for children and adults; (4) reduce the use of emergency departments by individuals who seek dental services more appropriately delivered in a dental primary care setting; or (5) facilitate the provision of dental care to nursing home residents. (U.S. House of Representatives)
NASHP Oral Health Resources Resources including briefs, toolkits, reports, and case studies that explore innovative strategies that states have developed to address access to oral health services. (National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP))
National Center for Fluoridation NCF was created to provide information within that network of scientists, educators, public officials, organizational representatives, and media concerned about the availability of reliable, timely, and scientifically-based information about community water fluoridation.
National Conference of State Legislatures: Children's Oral Health The National Conference of State Legislatures was founded in 1975 with the conviction that legislative service is one of democracy's worthiest pursuits. NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues.
Preventing Tooth Decay Strategies and policies to prevent tooth decay. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS)
Public Health Law Research: Oral Health Evidence briefs that summarize the evidence supporting the effectiveness of laws and policies to ensure oral health and hygiene. (Public Health Law Research)
Improving Oral Health through Cross-Agency Partnerships: State Oral Health Leadership Institute Case Studies A series of case studies on ways Medicaid dental program directors and state oral health program directors can work together to improve oral health of low-income residents. (Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS))
Addressing Oral Health in Health Policy Pre-recorded presentation from January 2017 describes how oral health should be integrated into health policy decision-making and research, how oral health issues are addressed in federal/state policies, and what challenges, methods, and best practices will most improve access to oral health care. (AcademyHealth)
American Association for Community Dental Programs - annual symposium The annual symposium is held as a pre-conference session to the National Oral Health Conference. The National Oral Health Conference is sponsored by the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
National Oral Health Conference The National Oral Health Conference is sponsored by the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors)
FASTSTATS: Oral and Dental Health FASTSTATS provides statistics from the nation's principal health statistics agency, National Center for Health Statistics.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) - Data and Statistics NIDCR supports the collection of statistics to document oral, dental, and craniofacial conditions and assess oral health trends in the United States. (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), NIH)
National Oral Health Surveillance System (NOHSS) NOHSS is a collaborative effort between CDC's Division of Oral Health and the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD). It is designed to monitor the use of dental health care, oral disease, and the status of community water fluoridation.
Oral Health Data The Oral Health Data website contains data for indicators from the National Oral Health Surveillance System (NOHSS), Water Fluoridation Statistics biennial reports, and the annual Synopses of State Oral Health Programs. National and state-level data are provided for all indicators. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS)