Strengthening the Oral Health Safety Net


OPCA is partnering with the DentaQuest Foundation on a three-year initiative, Strengthening the Oral Health Safety Net.  We work with dental directors at many health centers across Oregon to keep Oregonians free of serious, costly oral health issues.

Strengthening the Oral Health Safety Net
Sarah Dryfoos
(503) 228-8852 x246



A strong oral health safety net is vital if Oregon is to meet current and future demand for preventive services, education and treatment for underinsured and underserved children and adults. With the implementation of health care reform, thousands of Oregonians are gaining dental benefits, many for the first time. Strengthening the Oral Health Safety Net (SOHSN) is designed to help the safety net handle the influx of new patients smoothly and successfully.

Through SOHSN, community health centers develop oral health leadership and adopt programs that encourage oral health and interprofessional activities across dental and medical programs. Also under the initiative, OPCA educates policymakers about safety net oral health needs and provides participating CHCs with individualized technical assistance from the DentaQuest Institute's Safety Net Solutions program.


Oral Health Resources

Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon: 2014-2020

The Oregon Oral Health Surveillance System Report: An overview of health outcomes, behaviors and capacity related to oral health.


The data in the oral health surveillance system report are derived from multiple sources, including:

Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS): Annual survey of women three months after a live birth, including questions about dental visits and problems.

SMILE Survey: Survey with clinical examination of first, second and third grade children. It focuses on caries experience, untreated tooth decay, sealants, and early childhood caries.

National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH): Phone survey of families examining the health (including oral health) of children 0-17 years of age.

Oregon Healthy Teens Survey: Survey of 8th and 11th grade students; includes oral health questions.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS):  Survey of adults aged 18 and older; includes oral health questions.

Oregon Division of Medical Assistance Programs (DMAP): State Medicaid program; provides data on dental visits.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): Provides Medicaid eligibility data for 2005-07.

Water Fluoridation Reporting System (WFRS) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Includes an annual report tracking fluoridation status.

Oregon Board of Dentistry (OBD): Collects information about the dental workforce, including the Oregon Health Profession Profiles (OHPP).

Oregon Health Professions: Occupational and County Profiles report.

Oregon State Cancer Registry (OSCaR): Tracks oral and pharyngeal cancers, among other cancers.

Oregon Vital Statistics from Center for Health Statistics: Records oral and craniofacial anomalies. 

School-Based Oral Health Programs

School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA)

SBHA Oral Health Page

Initiative Participants

Participating Oregon health centers include:

  • Clackamas County Community Health Division
  • Coastal Family Health Center
  • La Clinica
  • Lincoln Community Health Center
  • Multnomah County Health Department
  • Native American Rehabilitation Association
  • Northwest Human Services
  • Umpqua Community Health Center
  • White Bird Clinic

Participating clinics can keep track of initiative events and meetings through our SOHSN calendar.  You can ask a question or make a comment our our conversations page.  



DentaQuest Foundation

Oregon Health Authority

Oregon Health & Science University

Oregon Oral Health Coalition

Pacific University

Safety Net Solutions

More Resources: Oral Health Risk, Compliance & Quality

Dental Radiographic Examinations: Recommendations For Patient Selection And Limiting Radiation Exposure

Ohio Environmental Regulations and Dental Offices

CDC Blood Bourne Infection Information

American Association of Endodontists 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (135 Dental Guidelines)

NIOSH Nitrous Oxide Exposure Limits


Program Integrity: Medicaid Compliance for the Dental Professional

NNOHA Operations Manual

Safety Net Dental Clinic Manual

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Dental Office Reference Manual - Dental Medicaid Billing Rules

OSAP - Resource for Infection Control & Safety Information and Education

And Still More Resources: Share Yours With Us!

Support your peers and avoid the recreation of work! We invite you to share resources that you use or have created and find successful for your work. Browse our library of tools and tips.

To submit a document for inclusion in our library, click on the name of any of the documents listed below. When the new web page opens, click on the "Submit File" icon and follow the instructions. If your submission is approved for inclusion by an OPCA staff member, it will be listed on our site. 

Name Date File size Hits    
Indian Health Service Dental Quality Assessment Version:v.1 2014-12-09 617.69 KB 316