Oral Health Access & Care

Providing our community with access to the best oral health care is our priority as we strive for continued  community health improvement.


  • Prevention and Public Health Infrastructure
    The coalition will advocate for prevention strategies that strengthen the public dental health infrastructure, and dental care delivery system within the District of Columbia.
  • Medical and Dental Collaboration
    The coalition will advocate for expansion in the number and type of health professionals providing preventative oral health services for underserved populations and underprivileged communities.
  • Oral Health Literacy and Education
    The coalition will advocate for culturally competent communication messages and strategies for parents and caretakers; healthcare providers and professional students, policy makers with an ultimate goal of creating social change through targeted messages.

Action Plan

Through the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) framework, a 2-year action plan from 2012 to 2014 was developed to address the oral health issues in the District of Columbia. To view the plan, please click here.

We are currently in the phase of developing a new action plan.

Advocacy Successes

  • Developed a first of its kind study of pediatric oral health in Washington, DC
    The coalition utilized the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) framework to assess community health status, community themes and strengths, the basics of the public health system, and forces of change. Through focus groups, forums and surveys, parents, community-based organizations, coalition members, providers, educators, and policy makers expressed their opinions and shared their experiences around oral health access and delivery of care. In partnership with RAND, the report “Oral Health in the District of Columbia: Parental and Provider Perspectives” was published in May 2013.
  • DC Oral Health (Dental Provider) Assessment Form
    The coalition sponsored the convening of community-based focus groups with school nurses, dental professionals, and parents to solicit input on streamlining the DC Oral Health (Dental Provider) Assessment form for ease of use and utilization for data collection and analysis.  Recommendations were submitted to the DC Department of Health and the form was approved in May 2013. The assessment form was implemented during the  2014 – 2015 school year.
  • Fluoride Varnish Reimbursement for Dentists and Primary Care Providers (Medicaid FFS and MCO)
    The coalition confirmed with the Board of Medicine that physicians’ scope of practice did not prohibit fluoride varnish or basic preventative oral health services in the District of Columbia. The coalition submitted a recommendation of fluoride varnish reimbursement to the DC Department of Health Care Finance. In March 2012, the DC Medicaid State Plan was approved. This approved plan allows dentists and primary care providers to use Current Dental Terminology (CDT) procedure code D1206 for billing and reimbursement of fluoride varnish up to 4 times a year of children up to age 3 (the age limitation is for the primary care physicians only).