"I am pleased to share the thoughtful efforts of dedicated people from across the state in this new document, California Oral Health Plan 2018-2028,” said Karen L. Smith, MD, MPH, CDPH director and state public health officer, in a statement. “The California Department of Public Health supports the development of healthy communities through public health policy, guidelines, funding opportunities, technical assistance, and workforce development for realizing each community’s unique vision.”
The oral health plan is organized into a total of 11 sections with five major sections covering:
Also included in the plan is a “Healthy People 2020 Oral Health Indicators” chart with target levels and current status listed for various objectives — from dental caries experience to oral and pharyngeal cancers detected at the earliest stage.
The plan offers a structure for taking collective action to assess and monitor oral health status and oral health disparities, prevent oral diseases, increase access to dental services, promote best practices and advance evidence-based policies.
Alignment of dental care programs, payments systems and integration of oral health into primary care are offered as methods for increasing dental visits and creating opportunities to prevent dental disease, while screening, counseling, disease prevention and building community-clinical linkages for referrals are recommended for engagement in community settings. Collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of quality oral health data factor prominently in the ability to assess the nature and extent of oral disease.
To help implement its activities, the plan capitalizes on significant Denti-Cal  improvements, expanded coverage options and recent fiscal developments, such as passage of CDA-supported Proposition 56 — the tobacco tax measure — which provides $30 million in dedicated annual funding.
Completing a comprehensive state oral health plan was one of the objectives of State Dental Director Jayanth V. Kumar, DDS, MPH, who began serving in his role in August 2015. Kumar developed the first comprehensive state oral health plan for New York.
California Dental Association (CDA) will keep members informed about developments in the CDA Update and on cda.org .