Oral Health Workforce Development
It has long been established that oral health is a vital component of overall health. With this in mind, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Office of Oral Health works in conjunction with other programs, as well as other offices, agencies and institutions, as part of the Division of Primary Care and Health Access to increase access to oral health services for all residents the state, especially vulnerable population groups. The Office engages in oral health surveillance, including the dental workforce, surveying dentists and dental hygienists annually during their license renewal.
A number of areas in Massachusetts meet the criteria of federal shortage designations in regards to dental services. To help attract and retain dental professionals to Massachusetts, the state offers a loan repayment program, for dentists and hygienists. This includes funding for dentists working with developmentally disabled children and adults, as well as funding for public health dental hygienists and dentists in prescribed public health settings.