Plans for State Oral Health Programs & Activities

A state oral health plan is a roadmap for accomplishing the goals and objectives that have been developed in collaboration with partners and stakeholders, including the state oral health coalition, and members from the public health, dental and medical communities. A comprehensive state oral health plan should be used to direct skilled personnel and funding decisions to reduce the prevalence of oral disease. In addition, a state oral health plan prepares a state to effectively compete for funding and take advantage of opportunities as it demonstrates that mechanisms are in place to utilize resources to reduce the oral disease burden. A state oral health plan should include state-specific data and should meet certain minimal criteria:

  • Current and relevant.
  • Updated every 3-5 years.
  • Revision dates should be identified and scheduled into the original plan.
  • Provide Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-framed (S.M.A.R.T.) objectives.
  • Distributed broadly to a range of public partners and policy makers.

Additional elements of a state oral health plan should include the following:

  • A logic model.
  • A strong infrastructure or “backbone.”
  • Accessibility to current resources.
  • Identified knowledge gaps in resources and recommendations for eliminating those gaps.
  • Healthy People 2020 Oral Health objectivesexternal icon.
  • Identified priority populations and the burdens of oral disease.
  • Identified partners with the ability to leverage resources.
  • A communication plan to address new or emerging oral health knowledge specifically for dental caries, water fluoridation and school-based or school-linked dental sealant programs.
  • Programs that address oral cancer and periodontal diseases.
  • Efforts to address infection control in dental settings.
  • Evaluation activities at the beginning of the planning process, with recommendations for types of evaluation, and plans for monitoring outcomes related to plan implementation.
  • Identified best practices for replication of program implementation.
  • A “maintenance plan” for the life of the 5-year state oral health plan that identifies who will update the plan and how often the plan will be updated.

Additional Resources

CDC Conceptual Model of Comprehensive Oral Health State Plan Process pdf icon[PDF-27KB]

State Oral Health Plans

ASTDD’s State Oral Health Planning and Coalition Developmentexternal icon

CDHP’s State Oral Health Plan Comparison Toolexternal icon