Tools for policymakers

National and state-level resources for policy reform

The ADA Health Policy Institute has developed a number of data-driven resources and reports, customizable at the state level, for policymakers focused on improving the oral health care system. These reports provide robust data collection and analysis along with  policy implications to provide oral health initiatives the tools they need to understand and reform access to dental care.

Oral Health Disparities Senate Testimony

In March 2023, HPI's Chief Economist and Vice President Marko Vujicic delivered testimony before the Senate Finance Committee's session: An Oral Health Crisis: Identifying and Addressing Oral Health Disparities.

The testimony (PDF) covers trends and implications of shortcomings in Medicaid coverage for dental care.

Economic Impact of Dental Offices by State

Nationwide, dental offices generate a $487 billion economic annual impact and create 2.5 million jobs. HPI prepared an informative data report that breaks down the economic impact of dental offices by state. Measures include jobs in dental offices, other jobs supported by dental offices, direct and indirect dental spending, and the overall economic impact of all state dental offices and per dentist.

See the impact in your state. (XLSX)

Medicaid Reimbursement for Dental Care Services by State

HPI compared Medicaid reimbursement rates to private dental insurance reimbursement rates. Data include all 50 states and the District of Columbia for child and adult dental services.

See how your state compares. (PDF)

Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage Checker

HPI partnered with the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health in the development of the Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage Checker.

Updated in 2023, the Coverage Checker is an interactive tool that identifies where each state’s Medicaid adult dental benefits package falls on a continuum from "no dental benefits" to "extensive benefits." The currently available data reflect 2022 coverage levels. Additional data will be released to track trends over time.

Oral Health and Well-Being State Fact Sheets

HPI prepared at-a-glance reports on self-reported oral health and well-being, attitudes toward oral health, and barriers to dental care for adults at the state and national levels.

See national results and request your state's infographic. (PDF)

Practice Modality Data by State and Dentist Experience Level

HPI revised and improved its data collection and analysis methods when it comes to practice modality in the U.S. A new report based on 2022 data breaks down dentist affiliation by practice size (i.e., number of locations) and dental support organization (DSO) status.

The report (XLSX) includes state-level data and results by dentist experience.

Projected Supply of Practicing Dentists

HPI developed a workforce projection model to estimate the future supply of dentists in the United States as well as in specific states. The model accounts for expected economic downturns and inflows, outflows, and shifts in the age and gender composition of the dental workforce.

See the analysis for the U.S. (PDF)

Contact HPI to inquire about customizing this analysis for your state.

Assessing the Accuracy of Medicaid Provider Lists

The Connecticut Dental Health Partnership and the United Way of Connecticut collaborated on a telephone mystery shopper survey to assess the validity of Medicaid dental care provider lists for HUSKY (i.e., Medicaid) recipients. This survey is an excellent resource for state policymakers and can be replicated in other states.

See the full report (PDF) or contact HPI for more information about this program.