Improving Access to Oral Health in Florida

  • Roughly one in four Floridians live in areas designated as having a shortage of dentists.

  • Only 38% of Florida’s Medicaid eligible children received any oral health care in 2018.​​

  • In Florida, people older than 65-years who are also eligible for Medicaid (dual eligible) do not receive any dental benefits beyond extractions, pain management and some dentures. 

Oral Health Policy Proposals

Include a Comprehensive Adult Dental Benefit in Medicaid

Providing adults on Medicaid with full dental benefits to increase access to care and improve oral health.

Authorize Dental Therapists

Dental therapists are highly-trained oral health practitioners that provide preventive services and common dental procedures, such as filling cavities. Authorizing dental therapists in Florida would improve access to care, especially to people living in underserved areas.

USE YOUR VOICE:

SHARE YOUR ORAL HEALTH STORY

Stories are powerful tools for change. They add flesh and blood to highly-politicized issues, helping legislators and voters to understand the real-life impact of policy decisions. If you've experienced the challenges of life without sufficient access to dental coverage & care, your story can help amplify the experience of thousands of Floridians just like you. 

High Deductibles Put Prevention Out of Reach

"I would like to see a dentist, but right now I can’t afford another bill. They offer the dental coverage through the Marketplace, but they want too much on a monthly basis. I get lots of phone calls from dental insurance companies, but the cost is too high. I can get a cleaning in my local community for $30, which is what the dental insurance companies are asking for a monthly premium. I need a molar replaced, but that will cost me much more."

 

E.B., Pinellas County

Read the full story here. 

Florida Voices for Health, through our story banker, will reach out to learn more about your story and do our best to connect you to helpful resources. Let us know the best times to reach you!

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Ready for Change?

Join the Sign-on Letter for Better Oral Health in Florida

This letter will be shared with elected officials, the media, and the community to advance policies that improve oral health in Florida.

The undersigned individuals and organizations share a commitment to advancing the health and development of all Floridians. We urge you to support legislation that improves access to oral health for vulnerable communities around the state.

 

Many Floridians, including millions of children, do not have access to the dental care they need to maintain their oral and overall health. This problem is costly to the state and harmful to the health of Florida’s children and families.

  • In 2016 alone, Florida hospitals billed more than half a billion dollars for treatment of dental conditions that could have been avoided by providing access to preventive and routine dental care.

  • Also, in 2016, 1.4 million children on Medicaid did not see a dentist all year.

  • Nearly 5.5 million Floridians live in areas without enough dentists to meet community need.

 

Below are policy options lawmakers can support right now to increase access to dental care, improve the health of Floridians, and use public dollars efficiently.

Sign-On Letter Proposals

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The OPEN_Florida Alignment Network is a community of individuals & organizations committed to improving access to oral health care because every person deserves to thrive.