HRSA Region 10

Webinar – Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Rural, Tribal and Underserved Communities, hosted by HRSA IEA Region 10.

Susan Skillman (Facilitator)

January 12, 2023

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Recent Relevant Peer Reviewed Publications

Mertz E, Kottek A, Werts M, Langelier M, Surdu S, Moore J. Dental Therapists in the United States: Health Equity, Advancing. Med Care. October 2021;59:441-48. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000001608.

Dental therapists (DTs) are primary care dental providers, used globally, and were introduced in the United States (US) in 2005. DTs have now been adopted in 13 states and several Tribal nations. The objective of this study is to qualitatively examine the drivers and outcomes of the US dental therapy movement through a health equity lens, including community engagement, implementation and dissemination, and access to oral health care.


Nasseh K, Fosse C, Vujicic M. Dentists Who Participate in Medicaid: Who They Are, Where They Locate, How They Practice. Medical Care Research and Review. 2022;0(0). doi:10.1177/10775587221108751

Low utilization of dental services among low-income individuals and racial minorities reflects pervasive inequities in U.S. health care. There is limited research determining common characteristics among dentists who participate in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Using detailed Medicaid claims data and a provider database, we estimate that among dentists with 100 or more pediatric Medicaid patients, 48% practice in high-poverty areas, 10% practice in rural areas, and 29% work in large practices (11 or more dentists). Among those with zero Medicaid patients, 18% practice in high-poverty areas, 4% practice in rural areas, and 11% work in large practices. We found that dentist race/ethnicity has an independent effect on Medicaid participation even when adjusting for community characteristics, meaning non-White dentists are more likely to treat Medicaid patients, regardless of the median income or racial/ethnic profile of the community.

National Institutes of Health

Oral Health in America Advances and Challenges

National Institutes of Health. Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges. Bethesda, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 2021*

*Susan Skillman, UW CHWS Sr. Deputy Director and WOHW Program Director among scientific reviewers