Oklahoma meets five of eight policy benchmarks aimed at addressing children's dental health needs, improving by one letter grade in 2010. The improvement reflects Oklahoma's reaching the national goal of providing fluoridated water to 75 percent of its residents on community systems in 2008. However, the state still has no sealant programs in high-risk schools. The percentage of Medicaid-enrolled children receiving dental services improved in 2009, but there is still significant unmet need. In 2008 and 2009, more than 13,000 central Oklahoma residents went to emergency rooms seeking treatment for dental conditions.1 The state is testing new types of dental providers through the University of Oklahoma's Community Dental Health Coordinator pilot program, an approach supported by the American Dental Association.2
1. “Overwhelming need for free, reduced-price dental care in Oklahoma,” The Oklahoman, December 5, 2010.
2. “First Group of Community Dental Health Coordinators Complete ADA Pilot Program,” The American Dental Association News, November 4, 2010, http://www.ada.org/5030.aspx (accessed January 20, 2011).