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Dental community urges Congress to fund oral health programs in 2017

September 09, 2016

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — As Congress works towards finalizing funding for 2017, the dental community is reaching out to key legislators to request the “highest funding levels possible” for oral health programs.

In letters to the Senate and House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies subcommittees, the ADA, along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Education Association and American Association for Dental Research, urged Congress to fund programs important to dentistry and oral health in the final 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill.

“Dental access, prevention, care and research initiatives are leading to improved oral health across the country,” wrote the organizations in joint letters to the Senate and House. “The modest programmatic increases we are requesting, together with the continuation of some programs, will allow more Americans to have access to better oral health care.”

The dental groups requested that the following programs receive funding for 2017:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Oral Health: $18 million.
  • Health Resources and Services Administration Title VII General and Pediatric Dental Residencies And Dental Health Improvement Act: $35.87 million, including $10 million each for general dentistry and pediatric dentistry residencies.
  • HRSA Maternal and Child Health: $5.25 million.
  • HRSA Area Health Education Centers: $30.25 million.
  • HRSA Health Careers Opportunity Program: $14.19 million.
  • HRSA Ryan White Dental $13.12 million.
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: $430.5 million.

“It is important to emphasize that a yearlong or six month continuing resolution will have a significant and detrimental impact on oral health programs and the populations they serve. We therefore strongly urge Congress to approve an omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017,” concluded the letters.