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Skip Navigation LinksPennsylvania Department of Health > My Health > A-Z Health Topics > M-P > Oral Health > Oral Health


The mission of the Oral Health Program is to promote good oral health as an integral part of the well-being of all Pennsylvania citizens, reinforcing the concept that you cannot be truly healthy without good oral health.  The program puts special emphasis on populations that have limited access to dental preventive and treatment sources and information.  Legislative authority for the program comes from Act 87 of 1996 that calls for the Department to "apportion this Commonwealth into Dental Health Districts, administered by a public health dentist within the Department, who shall implement dental health policies and programs for the various communities and political subdivisions within this Commonwealth."  The public health dentist is also the director of the Oral Health Program in the Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction.
The Program will collaborate with other governmental agencies and local community groups and associations on good oral health promotional efforts and actions.  The Program will focus on the following areas among others:
  • Prevention of oral disease through the stressing of proper personal and community preventive behavior and actions including:
    • Community Water Fluoridation
    • School based and school linked sealant programs for low income populations
    • Routine oral cancer screenings
    • Proper oral hygiene behavior by parents and children
  • Assessment of oral health status of the Pennsylvania population.
  • Access to dental health services for the underserved.
  • Departmental spokesperson on dental issues and liasion to the dental profession.
  • Representation for the Secretary of Health on the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry.