Dental care is one of the greatest unmet needs among children. The latest data from 2014 show that more than 18 million low-income children went without care. Pew’s work on children’s dental issues promotes cost-effective policies that expand access to dental care so that millions more children receive the treatment they need to grow, learn, and lead healthy lives.
Our research and advocacy efforts focus on several efficient, cost-effective strategies:
- Expanding the number of professionals who can provide high-quality dental care to low-income children.
- Ensuring that coverage from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program leads to real care.
- Expanding access to fluoridated water.
- Expanding programs that provide dental sealants so that all children who need them receive them.
Increasing Access to Care in Public Settings
Our WorkView All
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on Feb. 8, 2016, approved a pilot that will allow health clinics and centers serving two tribes in the state—the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians and the Coquille Indian Tribe—to hire dental therapists to help expand access to care. Read More
More than one-third of Americans face serious challenges in accessing dental care, including lack of insurance, prohibitive cost, too few providers, and mobility and transportation problems. As state policymakers around the country seek to better understand and take action to solve this crisis, five major issues will drive or hinder the success of those efforts. Read More
The American Dental Association estimates that in 2012, the U.S. health care system spent $1.6 billion on dental-related emergency room visits. Three evidence-based policy solutions to these oral health access problems gained ground at the local, state, and national levels in 2015. Read More
Working With Midlevel Providers
Dentists share their perspectives on these practitioners.