In 2021, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research published a report. Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges builds on the landmark Surgeon General report from 2000. This initial report brought national attention to oral health and highlighted disparities in care. Years later, oral health continues to be essential to overall health and well-being.
Health centers continue to increase access to oral health care.
According to 2021 Uniform Data System (UDS) data, health center dental programs achieved:
- 5.7 million patients served
- 13.7 million patient visits
- About 18,749 oral health Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs); this includes dentists, dental hygienists, and dental therapists:
- Dentists: 5,098 FTEs
- Dental Hygienists: 2,653 FTEs
- Dental Therapists: 48 FTEs
- Other Dental Personnel: 10,950 FTEs
- Dental sealants on 6-9-year-old children with elevated risk of dental caries increased from 42.4% in 2015 to 55.9% in 2021
- Additional health center data and reporting information
- Learn about HRSA-wide oral health initiatives, policy, practice, and resources
These can help health centers better integrate oral health into primary care.
- Infection Prevention and Safety in FQHC Dental Programs
See the slides from the Bureau of Primary Health Care (PDF - 2 MB) (March 2022).
Get 1.25 continuing education credits (CE) for watching the recording. The Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) is an American Dental Association (ADA) Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP) Provider. To claim CE credits, visit the OSAP website after you watch. Complete a brief assessment. You will also be asked to do a course evaluation.
The deadline to claim CE credits is Friday, March 31, 2023. Email OSAP with questions regarding CE. Learn more about OSAP’s CE Program & Provide Recognition.
- Oral Health and Primary Care Integration Technical Assistance Toolkit
Oral health care is a common unmet need. This is especially true among people with HIV. HRSA’s toolkit builds on the experiences of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program providers. It contains strategies and provider tools for:
- Assessing and reducing risk of oral health disease.
- Building oral health care provider networks and referral processes.
- Supporting clients through patient navigation.
These tools apply whether services are onsite or clients are referred out.
- Considerations for Oral Health Integration in Primary Care Practice for Children Report (PDF - 1 MB)
Teaches providers how to integrate preventive measures into systems of care.
- CDC Oral Health Page: Infection Prevention and Control in Dental Settings
CDC develops evidence-based guidance. It applies to all dental treatment settings. Their website also includes:
- Frequently asked questions
- Resources to support use of their guidelines
- A glossary of terms
- National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA)
This HRSA-funded National Cooperative Agreement provides technical assistance. They address the unique challenges faced by safety-net oral health programs.
- Online Learning Center: Resource Library
CareQuest Institute’s Safety Net Solutions offers best practices, tools, and strategies. Their resources include sample policies and guidelines for safety net health programs.