Access to Care

Phased Strategies for Reducing the Barriers to Dental Care

Research tells us that nearly 10 million Californians — including low-income children, the elderly and people with disabilities — face barriers to accessing the dental care they need. Barriers are multi-factorial, influenced by economics, culture, education and geography – a complex problem with no single solution.

The California Dental Association is proactively addressing the problem to improve access to care through nearly a decade of work and numerous evidence-based studies. Our report, Phased Strategies for Reducing the Barriers to Dental Care in California, outlines a 3-phase approach, each with multiple recommendations:

  1. Establish State Oral Health Leadership and Optimize Existing Resources (years 1-3)
  2. Focus on Prevention and Early Intervention for Children (years 3-5)
  3. Innovate the Dental Delivery System to Expand Capacity (years 4-7)

These strategies serve as a framework to guide CDA’s efforts to find solutions that ensure underserved Californians are able to access the oral health care services they need and deserve.

Research published in Journal of the California Dental Association
January 2012

The first of a two-part issue focusing on several of the key studies that helped to shape the recommendations made in the three-phase access proposal that was passed by the 2011 CDA House of Delegates. Articles include a literature review on California’s state oral health infrastructure; advanced dental education programs; economic feasibility of alternative practitioners for provision of dental care to the underserved; and a systematic review of procedures performed by dental auxiliaries.


March 2012

Focuses on improving the oral health of California’s most vulnerable populations. Articles include discussion of a comprehensive school-based/linked dental program; the capacity of the dental systems in a California study; access to dental care and the capacity of the California dental care system; and the impact of additional dental providers in the dental labor market on the income of private practice dentists.


In the News

The California Dental Association applauds the governor’s signature of a new state budget plan that includes the restoration of Adult Denti-Cal services.


Legislature approves restoring Adult Denti-Cal

The effort to restore Adult Denti-Cal benefits is one step closer to reality after the Legislature voted on a new state budget plan. The funding, which is a result of the leadership exhibited by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), still needs the governor’s signature. Steinberg made the restoration of Adult Denti-Cal a top priority after his visit last August to CDA Cares in Sacramento.


CDA Cares serves thousands in San Jose

Preliminary numbers indicate 2,202 patients received free oral health care at the CDA Cares San Jose dental clinic over the weekend. Hosted by the CDA Foundation and CDA, the May 18-19 dental clinic provided more than $1.6 million in oral health care services to the underserved. The San Jose clinic, which was held at the San Jose Convention Center, was the third CDA Cares event. The three clinics combined have now provided $4.4 million in care to 5,878 patients.