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41 percent of survey respondents report they have put off dental care in the last twelve months due to costs.
- 2011 W.K. Kellogg Foundation survey


The ability to pay for dental services is a key determinant of good oral health.  Many Kansans do not have access to services because they lack dental coverage, either through private insurance or public plans.  This goal addresses the need for better financing mechanisms which will improve access and reduce the incidence of oral disease.  The current oral health status of Kansans is described in two recent reports:

2013 Burden of Oral Disease in Kansas reports on oral health status based on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Surveillance Program.
2013 Kansas Oral Health Snapshot features data about the economic status, along with information about the oral health challenges and resources for each of our state’s 105 counties.

Lead organizations are shown in italics after each objective:
OHK - Oral Health Kansas KAMU - Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved
KDHE - Kansas Department of Health and Environment KDP - Kansas Dental Project
KDA - Kansas Dental Association UMKC SOD - University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry
KDHA - Kansas Dental Hygienists’ Association  




Kansans have a way to pay for high-quality, affordable dental services. Dental parity and consumer understanding of insurance policies are essential elements of success.

KanCareOBJECTIVE 1: Comprehensive dental benefits are available to low-income Kansans through an expansion of KanCare benefits. (OHK, KDA, KDHA)

a. Develop a cost-benefit analysis.

b. Educate and build support among public officials and private payers, using data and stories to communicate need.

c. Advocate for increased Medicaid reimbursement rates for general dentistry and specialists.

d. Enhance the ECP workforce to include but not be limited to the ability to bill directly for services in public and private systems.

e. Promote the full use of available preventive benefits under KanCare.


OBJECTIVE 2: Pediatric dental benefits—one of 10 essential health benefits which must be included in all insurance plans sold for children—should be a clear and affordable part of the coverage families purchase on the insureks.org website. (OHK, KAMU)

a. Educate insureks.org navigators and consumers.

b. Work with Kansas Insurance Department on policies.


Sealant Program MapOBJECTIVE 3: The rate of KanCare children who receive preventive dental services and the rate of children ages 6 to 9 who receive a dental sealant on a permanent molar tooth are each increased by 10 percentage points. (KDHE)

a. Educate KanCare parents/principal parties on why dental visits are essential.

b. Provide incentives for parents and providers.


Emergency RoomOBJECTIVE 4: Emergency Room (ER) visits for non-traumatic dental pain are reduced. (KDHE, OHK)

a. Facilitate delivery of more appropriate emergency dental services.

b. Educate patients on options available within the community.

c. Add dentists within urgent care facilities.

d. Improve collection of data on emergency room use for dental pain.