Access to oral health care for low-income adults is a persistent challenge in the United States. Poor oral health can lead to increased risk for long-term chronic conditions, lost workdays and reduced employability, and preventable dental-related hospital visits for adults enrolled in Medicaid.

To better understand how adult Medicaid beneficiaries are using dental services, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), with support from the DentaQuest Foundation, analyzed dental service use and cost data for non-elderly Medicaid-enrolled adults by a number of individual-, community-, and state-level factors. Findings from this analysis can help federal and state policymakers, Medicaid agencies, public health departments, health and dental plans, providers, advocates, and other oral health stakeholders identify opportunities to improve access to care and, ultimately, achieve sustainable oral health improvements for low-income adults.

The analysis is part of CHCS’ Faces of Medicaid data series, which examines high-cost Medicaid populations to provide stakeholders with important insights to inform program design, service delivery, and cost-effectiveness.