Ensuring Oral Health Care for All

Despite the vast increase in those achieving optimal oral health, the opportunity for this achievement is not equal among the general public. Underserved areas of the country, the poor, some minorities and those institutionalized may not have sufficient access to dental care. As the trusted voice in dentistry for PA, we aim to develop and promote access-to-care programs to ensure optimal dental health for all. Read more below to learn about ways to incorporate health equity into your practice as well as resources for your patients. both old and young.

Making Health Equity a Part of Your Dental Practice

Support Cultural Understanding and Diversity

  • Take an Unconscious Bias Assessment with your staff
  • Make sure your practice’s informational materials and forms are health literate - easy to understand and available in the language(s) most commonly spoken in your community*
  • Take part in programs to diversify the dental workforce - pipeline programs, mentoring students from under-represented minorities and rural areas
  • Promote dental careers-dentistry, hygiene and dental assisting at your child’s School Career Day

Support Data Collection

  • Volunteer to take part in Oral Health Surveys being conducted by Public Health Programs in your community-Head Start, 3rd Grade or Older Adult

Reinforce the role of Oral Health in Overall Health

  • Work with community organizations like March of Dimes, Boys and Girls Clubs, Scouts, PTA, local community health centers, etc. to promote the importance of oral health and bring an oral health perspective
  • Talk to your patients about the role of HPV in Oral Cancer and promote HPV vaccinations
  • Talk to your patients about tobacco cessation-cigarettes, smokeless, or vaping

Disease Prevention Education

  • Promote Age 1 Dental Visits and fluoride varnish use for babies
  • Promote the use of sealants on permanent molars
  • Talk to your patients about drinking tap water with fluoride, using fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses at every office visit
  • Promote brushing, flossing, and community water fluoridation at your child’s Back-to School events or Health class

ADVOCATE in your community and state for better health care access

  • Work with the ADA to promote adequate dental Medicaid coverage for ALL Adults- especially for disabled persons, pregnant women and veterans

Click or tap here for more information and resources.

Access to Care

Below are helpful links for dentists initiating projects in their communities.

American Association for Community Dental Programs

Act 55 of 2023

Understanding the Role of Dental Providers and Mandated School Dental Screenings

American Dental Association 

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors

Centers for Disease Control

National Maternal & Child Oral Health Resource Center

Pennsylvania Dental Association