Children’s Dental Health Project Applauds Historic Oral Health Care Provisions in Health Reform Legislation

New law provides millions of American children with access to dental care

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) today applauded the historic dental health care provisions that were recently enacted as part of the health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama. The provisions contained in the legislation represent an unprecedented investment in the oral health of all Americans, especially children.

Deemed by the U.S. Surgeon General a “silent epidemic,” dental disease remains the most common childhood disease, disproportionately affecting those from low-income families who lack access to adequate care. The provisions contained in the health care reform legislation expand access to dental care for children and families and seek to strengthen the oral health of all Americans while working to promote early and effective prevention.

“Good oral health is essential to good overall health. This new law will help ensure that millions more Americans have access to dental care. This represents a major improvement to our nation’s health care safety net,” said U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman [NM], who led the effort to include dental provisions in the legislation.

“With this legislation, and the historic CHIP reforms passed last year, millions more children are now assured of dental coverage and access to dental care,” said Dr. Burton Edelstein, Founding Chair of the Children’s Dental Health Project. “We have ensured that children’s dental coverage is as important as their medical coverage.”

Among the provisions directed specifically at improving America’s oral health are:

  • Expanded coverage. A significant investment in ensuring access to public and private dental coverage for children in America.
  • Prevention. Dental disease prevention initiatives including public education, school-based sealant programs in all 50 states and research grants to improve the prevention and management of tooth decay in young children.
  • Tracking and monitoring. Resources for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other federal agencies to assess American’s oral health and dental care with a special emphasis on pregnant women.
  • Workforce development. Expanded education of dental professionals and those who train and educate future dental caregivers in rural areas and among underserved populations. Grants to allow study options for new dental care providers.
  • Safety net improvements. Support for dental programs in school-based and community-based health centers. Creation of a new commission to study oral healthcare workforce capacity.
  • Infrastructure improvements. Support for states to bolster their dental public health programs through leadership development, oral health data collection and interpretation, and best use of science to improve oral health.
  • Medicaid and CHIP. Expands Medicaid coverage and increases Federal government’s contribution to Medicaid in all states, extends the CHIP program for five years, and addresses payment to dentists and other healthcare professionals through the Medicaid and CHIP Access and Payment Commission (“MACPAC”).

About the Children’s Dental Health Project:

The Children's Dental Health Project advances policies that improve children's access to oral health through research-driven policies and innovative solutions by engaging a broad base of partners committed to children and oral health. For additional information please visit,


Children’s Dental Health Project
Amanda Keating, 202-834-3179

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  District of Columbia

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Dental  Public Policy/Government  Healthcare Reform  Congressional News/Views  Public Policy  Children  Consumer  Managed Care