Dental care is one of the greatest unmet needs among children. The latest data from 2013 show that nearly 16 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.
Facts you need to make a healthy choice
Increasing Access to Care in Public Settings
Our WorkView All
On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Julie Stitzel, director of the Pew children’s dental campaign, testified before the Massachusetts Joint Public Health Committee in support of MA S. 1118/H. 249. The legislation was introduced by state Senator Harriette Chandler and Representative Smitty Pignatelli and would authorize a new type of midlevel dental professional, the dental hygiene practitioner (DHP), in... Read More
At its Aug. 7 meeting, the Commission on Dental Accreditation—the accrediting body for academic dental programs—finalized educational standards for dental therapy training. Dental therapists are midlevel providers—similar to physician assistants—who provide preventive and routine restorative care, such as filling cavities. Read More
Working With Midlevel Providers
Dentists share their perspectives on these practitioners.