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
- Assessment of oral health status of the Pennsylvania
- 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.