Maine meets six of eight policy benchmarks aimed at addressing children's dental health needs, one more than it met in 2010. The state surpassed the benchmark for the percentage of Medicaid-enrolled children receiving dental services. However, the state still faces significant obstacles to providing care to all of its residents.
It is estimated that almost 40 percent of the state's population – more than 500,000 people – live in federally-designated Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas.
In 2010, the state made an important investment in dental health by voting in favor of a $5 million dental care bond, which will fund a new dental school at the University of New England and expand the presence of dental clinics around the state.1 The Pew Children's Dental Campaign is supporting an effort to help Maine build on that progress by introducing a new type of dental provider.
1. “UNE Steps Up Fundraising Efforts to Make College of Dental Medicine a Reality: Passage of Question #2 Sets the Stage,” University of New England news release (November 5, 2010) http://www.une.edu/news/2010/stepupfundraisingcollegeofdentalmedicine.cfm (accessed February 24, 2011).