Innovations that Address Socioeconomic, Cultural, and Geographic Barriers to Preventive Oral Health Care

A dental assistant talks to a patient waiting to recieve treatment.

To overcome barriers to access, innovative use of a well-trained, non-traditional workforce must be combined with strategies that re-engage populations with a history of poor access.

The Issue: 

Lack of access to preventive oral health care for all ages remains a public health challenge. This report focuses on nine oral health innovations that integrate service delivery and workforce models in order to reduce or eliminate socioeconomic, geographic, and cultural barriers to care. Two additional reports in this series describe the remaining programs that provide care in non-dental settings and care to young children.

Although the programs are diverse in their approaches, as well as in the specific characteristics of the communities they service, a common factor among them is the implementation of multiple strategies to increase the number of children from low-income families who access preventive care, and also to engage families and communities in investing in and prioritizing oral health.

About the Program:

The Systematic Screening and Assessment of Workforce Innovations in the Provision of Preventive Oral Health Services is a project to identify promising workforce innovations that have the potential to increase Americans’ access to preventive oral health services.