Posts for Dental Access Project

Momentum for Dental Coverage Grows with Proposed Medicaid Dental Benefit Act in Congress

Dental coverage is having a moment, both in state governments and at the federal level. This week, Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA-44) announced the introduction of a new bill, the Medicaid Dental Benefit Act.

Sens. Warnock, Ossoff & Baldwin Want to Close the Medicaid Gap, Congress Must Act

This week Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock released a legislative proposal with senators Ossoff and Baldwin to close the Medicaid coverage gap in states that have yet to adopt Medicaid expansion.

New Data: Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage is Wise Investment for Economic Recovery, Health

New data shows that extending comprehensive oral health coverage to all adults enrolled in Medicaid could save at least $273 million in overall health care spending.

Advancing Equity in Oral Health Policy

Dental disease can affect physical and mental health and economic wellbeing and, as we see throughout all facets of our society, long-standing policies based on structural racism mean Black and brown communities experience poorer oral health as a result.

Study after Study with the Same Results: Medicaid Expansion Is Good for States

Each week it seems like there is a new study that shows the benefits of expanding Medicaid – for both health and state budgets.

Oral Health is a Right, Not a Luxury

A system that affords dental care as a luxury to the few while denying access to even the most basic care to the many will never lead to oral health equity.

New Study Shows Medicaid Dental Coverage Improves Employment

New data add to mounting evidence that expanding access to dental coverage for people with low incomes has wide-ranging benefits.

Oral Health is On the Agenda

The 117th Congress is in full swing and while all eyes have been focused on the recently enacted COVID-19 relief package, we have also seen lawmakers introduce a number of oral health related bills.

How Federal Policymakers Can Advance Racial Equity in Oral Health

February, being both Black History Month and Children’s Dental Health Month, presents an opportunity to ensure that oral health is not forgotten among the many glaring inequities facing Black, indigenous and other communities of color in our country.

Oral Health Providers Could Accelerate Vaccine Distribution

As a recent article in The New York Times highlighted, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the delivery of oral health care across the United States.

Dismantling White Supremacy in the Oral Health System Starts with Community Power Building

Health justice starts with the work we do with ourselves and the spaces we have access to, that we are not alone in this movement and through pushing forward, a better tomorrow becomes possible.

COVID-19 Tooth Loss and Oral Health Complications Underscore Importance of Maintaining, Expanding Coverage

COVID-19 can weaken the circulatory system and cause inflammation, both of which have an effect on oral health outcomes.

If Congress Doesn’t Invest in States Soon, People May Start Losing Oral Health Services

Individuals covered by Medicaid may start to lose needed health services – starting with cuts to oral health care – amidst state budget shortfalls due to lack of federal COVID-19 relief. Federal lawmakers must invest in states at this critical moment.

Coverage is Critical for Reducing Dental-Related ER-Use

The availability of Medicaid adult dental benefits varies by state and ranges widely from only covering emergency treatment in some states to full comprehensive care in others.

Bipartisan Support for Dental Therapy Grows

Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Endorses Dental Therapists

Oral Health Care Access in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond

As many advocates shift focus to protecting the physical, emotional, and financial health of their communities during the coronavirus pandemic, we know that the need for access to critical dental care has not gone away.

Texas v. (the Oral Health of the) United States

Proactive policies that improve the ACA could build on its foundation and further improve access to dental care and oral health. Instead, the Trump administration’s position in Texas v. United States would tear away important gains in oral health.

Proposed changes to federal nutrition program would risk families' oral health

More than 750,000 people are at risk of losing critical nutrition assistance under a proposed rule from the Trump Administration that would make harmful changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Moral Imperative of Responsible Advocacy: An Educator’s Perspective on Dental Therapy

I teach an introductory dental public health course for first-year dental students. The course encourages students to use the scientific literature as the basis for developing evidence-based solutions to public health problems.

A Partnership to Expand Oral Health Justice

We are launching the National Partnership for Dental Therapy to make access to oral health care for all a reality.

Gov. Snyder signs bill authorizing dental therapists, expanding access to care for Michiganders

On December 26, Michigan became the eighth state, and the second in 2018, to authorize dental therapists.

Dental Therapy: An Alaska Native-Led Solution Improving Access to Care and Oral Health

November is National Native American Heritage Month

Policy-Community Partnerships in Oral Health Advocacy: An Example in Celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month

Latinx advocates have been leaders and partners in the strong health advocacy work across the country. In Virginia, advocates played a key role in the recent Medicaid expansion victory.

CMS Urges States to Pay for the Dental Services Kids Need

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an informational bulletin underscoring the link between oral and overall health and the importance of dental care for children with Medicaid coverage. This bulletin recognizes the pitfalls of...

Beyond Work Requirements: Medicaid Waivers for Oral Health Innovation

Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continued the trend of approving harmful work requirements in state Medicaid programs. Arkansas joined Kentucky and Indiana and became the third state to institute a work requirement. These waivers will...

Anti-immigrant policies are hurting children’s oral health

We should all be able to care for our children’s oral health regardless of our immigration status. But today, U.S. immigration policies are blocking many immigrant families from getting their children needed dental care.

Connecting Mouth to the Body: Integrating Oral Health into ACOs

Poor oral health can lead to other health problems, including cardiovascular disease, and some chronic health conditions, like diabetes, are associated with poor oral health.

Preventable Diseases Show The Impact Of Racial Disparities

This blog is part of a series that will highlight how structural racism in the health care system negatively affects the health of individuals of color. Community Catalyst is committed to exposing and dismantling policies, practices and attitudes that routinely produce cumulative...

Oral Health: How the Dental System Fails to Deliver

If you arrived at an emergency room or urgent care clinic with a painful infection of your finger that is causing you to miss work and otherwise interfere with daily living – would they give you pain relievers and send you on your way?

A Doctor’s Perspective on Dental Therapy

A primary care doctor shares his insights on the connection between good oral health and overall health, and the importance of expanding the dental care team.

Dental Therapists at Work: The Economic Benefits of Dental Therapy

Dental therapists have been practicing in the U.S. for more than 10 years. They have improved access to dental care for underserved communities in Alaska since 2005 and in Minnesota since 2011.

Biting back – why it’s important to protect your oral health care

On January 30, 26-year-old Vadim Kondratyuk of California, a father to two small children, died from a dental infection that spread to his blood and his lungs. Tragically, Vadim is not alone. Each year, millions of people go without treatment...

Dental Therapy Is a Solution to the Oral Health Crisis Everyone Can Agree On

Chances are you know someone who has struggled to access dental care. It is a nationwide crisis that, according to the American Dental Association, is only projected to worsen. The need for accessible dental care is most urgent in rural...

Momentum Is On Our Side: Vermont Votes Yes on Dental Therapists

On Monday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a new law that will allow dental therapists to work in Vermont. It’s an exciting victory on a number of levels. To start, this makes Vermont the fourth state to add dental therapists...

From charity to Philanthropy: Supporting Dental Therapy and Proven Models of Care

When I accepted the first CEO position at the REACH Healthcare Foundation more than 11 years ago, I was introduced to the important distinction between philanthropy and charity

Pacific Northwest Indian Tribe Exercises Sovereignty to Provide Desperately Needed Oral Health Care to its Community

There is an oral health crisis in Indian Country and as a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, I have seen it firsthand.

Two More States Moving Toward Adding Dental Therapists to Care Team

Over the last few weeks, we have seen significant progress across the country for community-driven efforts to improve access to dental care by adding dental therapists to the dental team.

Commission on Dental Accreditation Supports National Training Standards for Dental Therapy Programs

On February 6 in a conference room at the American Dental Association’s headquarters in Chicago, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) voted overwhelmingly to adopt national training standards for dental therapy education programs.

Cross-Post: Will dental therapists “change the world” (of U.S. dental care) in 2015?

Change is hard. Change takes time. Change is worth fighting for especially when it relates to improving access to oral health care.

The Time is Now: Maine’s Mid-Level Dental Provider Law a Signal to Industry, the Nation

Yesterday, Maine Governor Paul LePage signed a bill authorizing mid-level dental providers to practice in the state. Mainers, like Americans in every state, face barriers to accessing affordable dental care in their communities. The bill is a step forward to...

Health Equity In Focus: Building Diverse Coalitions for Policy Change: Lessons from Oral Health Campaigns

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Dental Market Forecast: Dental Therapists on the Horizon

Two factors are forcing the dental industry to re-evaluate itself. First, millions of Americans lack access to dental care. Second, the dental sector is experiencing a slowdown in spending and predicting sluggish growth for decades to come.

Once Is Chance, Twice is Coincidence, Third Time Is a Trend: Growing Momentum for Dental Therapists

Rowena Ventura, director of We Are the Uninsured in Cleveland, knows firsthand the horrific effects that the lack of affordable dental care can have.

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids: Making Sure Families Can Afford Pediatric Dental Benefits Under the ACA

I always tell my kids, don’t forget to brush your teeth! As we gear up for open enrollment in October, that phrase takes on a whole new meaning: Don’t forget to buy your pediatric coverage.

Essential Health Benefits: A little changed, a lot to monitor

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final rule for Essential Health Benefits, Actuarial Value, and Accreditation. This anticipated rule was largely unchanged from its original form.

Sanders and Cummings Make the Case for a Comprehensive U.S. Dental System

Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) announced they are filing legislation to address a national crisis in dental care. The legislation would expand comprehensive dental coverage to millions of Americans through M

Looking at the Whole Problem, Not Just the Mouth – The Need to Systematically Improve America’s Oral Health

Often overlooked, untreated tooth decay and poor oral health have become an epidemic in the United States. In fact, tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, five times more common than asthma. On March 6th, The New York Times reported that an ala

Confronting Our Dirty Little Secret

After a decade of reports and tragedy a lot of progress must be made to improve our oral health A decade ago, the Surgeon General released a report on oral health that described unmet oral health needs as a “silent epidemic”. Five years ago, a 12 year old

Dental Access More Controversial Than Contraceptive Care?

Late last month as snow enveloped Olympia, Washington, state advocates braved the elements for hearings on two very important yet different issues - improving access to dental care and reproductive rights and contraception coverage. At one point a veteran

PBS NewsHour Explores The Growing Need for Better Access to Dental Care and Dental Therapist Solution

This week, PBS’ NewsHour highlighted that millions of Americans go without dental care and also profiled how alternative dental providers, known as dental therapists, have improved access to care in Alaska and have the potential to do the same in the lowe

New Oral Health Study Reveals The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Truth When It Comes To Dental Care

Oral health advocates are trained to reinforce that oral health is essential to overall health. The good news is that a poll released today by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (conducted by Lake Research) found that 79 percent of survey respondents say that

Dental Therapists: A community solution to the oral health care crisis

In one of the most memorable scenes in Cast Away, Tom Hanks, who is stranded on a deserted island and has a toothache, gruesomely removes his tooth with a figure skate because he can no longer live with the pain. Even though they are not stranded on a des

Village lessons on the dental access crisis: Alaska’s program a potential model for the lower 48

In late August, I found myself in a small conference room in a sub-regional clinic (SRC) in St. Mary’s, Alaska, a village of 549 Yup’ik residents, listening to Bernadette Charles describe how she is working to meet the village’s oral health needs. Not onl

Dental care for every community

Last week, the New York Times reported on the dire need to improve health care on Native American Tribal Lands. Unfortunately, one of the major components of overall health and the health care system was overlooked as part of the article – oral health and
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