Illinois meets five of the eight policy benchmarks aimed at addressing children's dental health. The state is a national leader in fluoridation, bringing optimally fluoridated water to over 95 percent of its residents. Additionally, Illinois is one of only nine states that have sealant programs in most of their high-risk schools. Although Medicaid reimbursement rates fell slightly in relation to dentists' usual fees, the state still meets the benchmark for enrollees' use of dental services. A bill that would allow qualified dental hygienists to provide hygiene services in certain settings without a dentist's prior exam, including sealants in school programs, has been introduced in the 2011-2012 legislative session.1
1. Illinois General Assembly, SB1919. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1919&GAID=11&DocTypeID=SB&LegId=58084&SessionID=84&GA=97 (accessed March 21, 2011).