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.
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The Pew Charitable Trusts applauds the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community for taking steps to expand its dental team to include a Dental Health Aide Therapist. This decision follows evidence showing that incorporating midlevel providers into a dentist’s team increases access to care. The Swinomish, a federally recognized Indian tribe from Washington state, is the first tribal community in... Read More
More than 70 million adults and children rely on Medicaid, but many states do not include adult dental coverage. According to the Medicaid-CHIP State Dental Association, only about one-third of dentists accept Medicaid. Read More
Working With Midlevel Providers
Dentists share their perspectives on these practitioners.