Task Force on Dental Care Access

The dental health issues and problems addressed in this report are multifaceted and complex, requiring multiple strategies and actions by both the public and private sectors. Increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates is a necessary, but not sufficient, response to the problem of inadequate access to dental services. North Carolina needs to simultaneously increase the supply of dentists and dental hygienists; build a capacity among safety-net providers to address the dental care needs of low-income, Medicaid-eligible and special needs populations; and educate these groups about the importance of on-going comprehensive dental care. In addition, more emphasis must be placed on dental education and prevention strategies, to prevent costly and painful dental disease, especially among children.

Full Report | 2001 Update | 2003 Update | 2005 Oral Health Summit
Co-Chairs
Dennis Wicker
Lieutenant Governor
Sherwood Smith, Jr
Chairman of the Board
Carolina Power & Light Company
In May 1999, the Task Force on Dental Care Access delivered its report to the North Carolina General Assembly.

Convened in the winter of 1999, the task force was charged with developing strategies for improving access to dental care for low income North Carolinians.

Then Lt. Governor Dennis Wicker and Sherwood Smith, Jr., Chairman of the Board Emeritus of Carolina Power & Light Co. led the task force.

Since the report's publication, 9 of the task force's recommendations show solid indicators of accomplishment. For a list of all recommendations and updates on each, please see the updates listed above.

2005 North Carolina Oral Health Summit

In April 2005, the Oral Health Section of the Division of Public Health, within the NC Department of Health and Human Services, conducted the North Carolina Oral Health Summit: Buiding a Collaborative for Action. Participants at this one-day summit reviewed the findings and recommendations from the 1999 NC Institute of Medicine Task Force on Dental Care Access report to determine if the issues it addressed were still relevant, what actions had occurred to implement the Task Force's recommendations, and the barriers to implementation. The Summit Proceedings and Action plan outlines summit participants' suggested changes to the original recommendations. The goal of the Summit was to identify potential strategies to improve dental care access - whether by further implementation of the original 1999 NCIOM Task Force recommendations - or through new strategies.
    No meetings scheduled.