What Can Be Done?
The Federal government is
Classifying pediatric dental services as an essential health benefit to be covered by dental insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Matching state costs for applying dental sealants for all children enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP and tracking program performance.
Encouraging community health centers with dental programs to start or expand school-based sealant programs to help more low-income children.
Helping fund states to increase the number of dental sealant programs.
Providing incentives for dentists to practice in underserved areas to increase access to dental services.
State officials can
Target school-based sealant programs to the areas of greatest need. Track the number of schools and children participating in sealant programs.
Implement policies that deliver school-based sealant programs in the most cost-effective manner.
Help schools connect to Medicaid and CHIP, local health department clinics, community health centers, and dental providers in the community to foster more use of sealants and reimbursement of services.
Dental care providers can
Apply sealants to children at highest risk of cavities, including those covered by Medicaid/CHIP. Donate time and resources to a school-based dental sealant program.
Learn about school-based dental sealant programs and their effectiveness.
Accept children into their practice who are identified as needing more services when they receive sealants in schools.
School administrators can
Work with the local or state public health programs and local dental providers to start school-based sealant programs.
Support having sealant programs in schools and promote its benefits to teachers, staff, and parents. Help children enroll in sealant programs by putting information for parents in registration packets in the beginning of the school year.
Encourage schools to develop relationships with local dental offices and community dental clinics to help children get dental care.
Ask your child’s dentist to apply sealants when appropriate.
Sign your child up to participate in a school-based sealant program. If your school does not have a sealant program, ask them to start one.
Find a dentist if your child needs one. Use the Insure Kids Now Dentist Locator: