Access to oral health care for low-income adults is a persistent challenge in the United States. Poor oral health can elevate risks for chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and can lead to lost workdays, reduced employability, and the preventable use of costly acute care. As many states expand Medicaid coverage for adults through the Affordable Care Act, there are new opportunities to expand much-needed dental coverage and avoid the dangerous and costly consequences of untreated dental disease.
This fact sheet identifies key challenges related to oral health care access and utilization for low-income adults, and outlines states’ current coverage of dental benefits for adults in Medicaid. It also suggests opportunities for states to increase oral health care coverage and access for this population.
A companion appendix is also available, which provides state-by-state source details for the fact sheet.