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Oral Health Program

The Oral Health Program within the Health Care Access Bureau is responsible for assessing and promoting oral health with an emphasis on access to comprehensive oral health services for all DC residents through a dental home.

A dental home is an “ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way” (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry).

Every DC resident aged one (1) year and older should have a dental home.

School-Based Oral Health Program

The Department of Health’s School Based Oral Health Program (SBOHP) was launched in 2003 to provide school-based preventive dental care services to children who may not be otherwise accessing care. The SBOHP works with a range of partners, including: mobile dental providers, the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE), DC Public Schools (DCPS), and the DC Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF), to coordinate the delivery of mobile dental services at DCPS and DC public charter schools and licensed child development centers (LCDCs).

The SBOHP contracts with mobile dental providers to deliver the following services:

  • Fluoride treatments
  • Dental sealants
  • Dental screenings and cleanings
  • Outreach
  • Education
  • Care coordination

Care coordination services aim to link students to ongoing comprehensive care delivered through a dental home. The SBOHP does not provide treatment services (e.g. extractions, restorations).

Participating schools/centers must be able to provide suitable space for the provision of on-site clinical services and assign at least one staff member to assist with coordination. All children at the school/center aged one (1) year to 19 years are eligible for services through the SBOHP if they have not have had a preventive dental visit in the preceding six months. For children with dental insurance, the SBOHP vendors will submit claims for all clinical services provided. 

The SBOHP is not a substitute for a dental home. Children should visit their primary dental provider/dental home every six (6) months for preventive services. Every child should establish a dental home by 12 months of age.

For more information on the School-Based Oral Health Program, please contact Justice Armattoe at (202) 442-9365 or [email protected].

SBOHP Resources

DC Oral Health Surveillance System

The DC Oral Health Surveillance System (OHSS) is a source of consistent and reliable DC-specific oral health data. The DC OHSS aims to make data available to policy-makers, providers, advocates, and other stakeholders so as to promote data-driven decision-making on oral health in the District.

The DC OHSS compiles and tracks data from local and national sources on the following categories of indicators:

  • Oral Health Outcomes
  • Oral Health Care Supply and Utilization
  • Access to Long-Lasting Protective Interventions
  • Oral Health Behaviors

Key OHSS data sources include:

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System
  • National Survey of Children's Health
  • Medicaid/ MCO Dental Claims
  • Dental Workforce Survey
  • DC Hospital Association ED Utilization 
  • DC Cancer Registry

The Oral Health Program will make OHSS data available through products such as reports, fact sheets, infographics, and an interactive data query platform.

DC OHSS Resources

Senior Dental Services Program

Offered through Community of Hope, and funded by DC Health, the Senior Dental Services Program provides comprehensive dental care, outreach, oral health education, and care coordination to seniors (65 years and older) who reside in District of Columbia with adjusted gross income of less than $100,000. For more information, please contact Community of Hope (Dental Main Line: 202-540-9862) for an inquiry regarding eligibility for services.

 

Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 442-9395
Contact Fax: 
(202) 442-4947
Contact TTY: 
711
Office Hours: 
Monday through Friday 8:15 am – 4:45 pm