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Increasing Access to Oral Health for the Uninsured and Underinsured

Access to oral health is a challenge for uninsured and underinsured individuals and their families.  Safety net oral health facilities help this vulnerable population meet that challenge.  This section provides tools and resources such as how- to guides, case studies, a variety of publications and links related to developing an oral health access program.  

Oral Health Project

Americares first Oral Health Project began in September 2016 with a goal of improving the way oral health education is delivered to patients who have low-literacy. The project utilized the “What to Do for Healthy Teeth” book, developed by The Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA), an easy-to-follow, simply written guide that covers a full range of oral health topics on how best take care of teeth, gums, and overall oral health. Americares U.S. Program partnered with IHA on a year-long initiative to address oral health education in both primary care FCC and charitable dental clinic settings to address the gap in dental benefits for low income patients and the significant role that oral health plays in systemic health. Americares partnered with IHA to create a customized Master “Train the Trainer” webinar series on integrating IHA’s book into oral health education with patients seeking care at free and/or charitable clinics (FCCs). Each clinic received the books, dental hygiene items, and participated in ‘Train the Trainer’ online training sessions for how to deliver the educational modules to 30 clinic staff members. 

You can read the final Oral Health Project report here.

Charitable Dental Clinic Leadership Institute (CDCLI)

Americares will soon launch our Charitable Dental Clinic Leadership Institute (CDCLI) as a continuation of our work in the Oral Health space. CDCLI is the first continuing education program of its kind aimed at equipping the next generation of leaders to build and manage high-performing charitable dental clinics and programs across the United States. We have selected five “exemplary” charitable dental clinics across the United States to serve as models for how smaller dental clinics, or free clinics that offer a dental practice, can elevate their programs from “good to great.” We look forward to sharing more information about this opportunity to our clinic network as soon as it is available. 


Survey Results

How To Guides

Case Studies


Tools and Practice Guidelines

  • Clinical Recommendations from ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry - American Dental Association 
  • The Interprofessional Initiative is “the nation's only comprehensive oral health curriculum designed to enhance the role of primary care clinicians in the promotion of oral health for all age groups through interactive online learning.” They have invested in the development of a national curriculum, Smiles for Life.  Eight (current) 45-minute modules covering core areas of oral health relevant to physicians (American Academy of Family Physicians), nurses (NYU Nursing), PA’s, pediatricians and midwives.