Maryland is a national leader—the only state to meet seven of eight policy benchmarks for addressing children's dental health needs. The state satisfied one more benchmark by providing dental services to nearly 42 percent of Medicaid enrollees ages one to 18. This improvement reflects the commitment by state officials and Maryland's Dental Action Coalition to use a variety of policy tools to improve dental health.
In a 2010 report, the state health department noted, “Maryland continues to confront barriers to providing comprehensive oral health services to Medicaid enrollees. Barriers include low [dentist] participation due to, among other things, low reimbursement rates, missed appointments, and a lack of awareness among enrollees about the benefits of basic oral health care. As Medicaid's population continues to increase each year, these barriers remain significant impediments to increasing access to dental services.”1
1. Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, "Maryland's Annual 2010 Legislative Report (2010)."