Oral Health 2020

Expand Adult Dental Benefit in Publicly-Funded Health Insurance

Expand Adult Dental Benefit in Publicly-Funded Health Insurance

Tooth decay is almost completely preventable, yet when people are unable to see a dental provider, they do not get the preventive services, early diagnosis, and interventions that can halt or slow the progression of most oral diseases. Problems that could have been addressed early or even prevented continue to progress, leading to lower quality of life and poor health outcomes.

Dental coverage is positively associated with access to and utilization of oral health care.  Research indicates that children and adults with dental coverage are significantly more likely to seek and use regular dental services than their uninsured peers.  Providing dental coverage and increased access to dental care positively impacts health and well-being. 

Goal: Include an adult dental benefit in publicly funded health coverage 

  • At least 30 states have an extensive Medicaid adult dental benefit. 
  • Medicare includes an extensive dental benefit.