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NC Department of Health and Human Services
NC Division of Public Health
N.C. Public Health Home

Our Efforts to Promote and Encourage Access to Dental Care

The N.C Oral Health Section provides preventive dental health direct services in 65 of 100 North Carolina counties (PDF 99KB)(This map is also on the AboutUs page and the Services page).  These services include targeted fluoride mouthrinse and dental sealant projects; dental assessments, screenings, and referrals; school and community educational services; and consultation services.  Additionally, the N.C. Oral Health Section helped local agencies to expand and maintain their Safety Net Dental Clinics. The Safety Net Dental Clinics include public and private non-profit facilities providing ongoing, comprehensive dental care to low-income patients. The N.C. Oral Health Section supports expansion and operation of the Safety Net Dental Clinics, works with various public and private organizations and works to increase access in a number of ways.

Current Efforts

  • In 2010, the Special Care Oral Health Services: A North Carolina Commitment, Report from the Special Care Dentistry Advisory Group was presented to the N.C. Public Health Task Force, the N.C. Public Health Study Commission, and the N.C. Commission on Aging.  Legislators introduced and are considering three bills based on the recommendations from the report.  Other organizations are considering the recommendations.

  • Oral health risk assessment and referral links children needing dental care with providers willing to treat them.

  • Technical assistance is provided for establishing new clinics and supporting the operation of existing safety net clinics. The Oral Health Section's technical assistance efforts complement those of the N.C. DHHS Office of Research, Demonstrations, and Rural Health Development.

  • Calibrated oral health assessment data have been and continue to be critical in demonstrating the need for dental care safety net facilities. Community leaders also look to these assessment data to estimate the ongoing impact of safety net facilities and to monitor a community's progress in improving the oral health of its children.

  • Into the Mouths of Babes - The N.C. Oral Health Section continues as a partner in the ‘Into the Mouths of Babes’ oral screening and fluoride varnish program, training medical professionals to provide oral preventive care to the youngest Medicaid-covered children.

  • Carolina Dental Home is a pilot program in Craven, Jones, and Pamlico counties.  Physicians and dentists work together to provide dental care for Medicaid children from birth to three years old. Ready NC Connect NC