Topics: Long-Term Care, Oral Health
Research Center: Oral Health Workforce Research Center
Reforms to address the oral health care needs of vulnerable populations in long-term care (LTC) settings should start with defining a clearer standard of oral care required for this population. This will allow best practices in policy, practice, and accountability to be structured around care that improves patients' oral health.
This article identifies and classifies state-level policies and funding sources for dental services that are available to LTC residents. The research details variability in coverage levels, payment sources, workforce capacity, and care delivery configurations, finding little coherence between policy and the needs of patients or providers.