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Senate introduces Action for Dental Health bill

June 07, 2018

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The Senate on June 6 introduced the Action for Dental Health bill, legislation aimed at improving oral health and access to oral health care.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., along with Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Tim Scott, R-S.C., introduced the bill.

“Oral health is an important part one’s overall health and well-being, but many people lack access to these essential services — especially those from underserved communities,” said Sen. Booker. “This legislation takes a vital step in addressing those gaps and increasing families’ access to oral health care and preventive services.”

The Action for Dental Health was introduced in 2017 by Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., and Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and the House overwhelmingly passed the bill in February.

“The Action for Dental Health Act will help Americans improve essential oral health care for low-income and other underserved individuals by breaking down barriers to care,” ADA President Joseph P. Crowley said. “It will also help organizations qualify for oral health grants to develop and expand programs that establish dental homes for children, adults, the elderly, blind and disabled at no extra burden to taxpayers.”

With passage, the ADA hopes the legislation will lead to:

  • Improving oral health education and dental disease prevention through community outreach and case management.
  • Reducing the use of emergency rooms for dental care.
  • Helping patients establish dental homes.
  • Reducing barriers, including language barriers and cultural barriers, to receiving care.
  • Facilitating dental care to nursing home residents.

For more information about the ADA's Action for Dental Health initiative, visit ADA.org.