Adult Dental - Oral Health Watch

Save money, reduce pain, improve health: Restore dental coverage for low-income adults


The issue

Medicaid Expansion due to national healthcare reform will provide an estimated $242 million in savings to the state because the federal government will take over the funding of state healthcare programs.

With a small portion of this savings, the Legislature can restore Medicaid dental coverage for adults.  This coverage was eliminated in 2011 due to budget shortfalls.

If the legislators act this session, they can take advantage of an opportunity to have the federal government pay the full cost of dental care for all new enrollees through Medicaid expansion.  A state investment of just $14 million annually will provide dental coverage to more than 700,000 low-income people.  At $20 per person per year this is an incredible bargain.

Providing dental coverage saves money for taxpayers by reducing hospitalizations for people with diabetes. Plus, fewer people will seek expensive ER care.


What can you do?

Urge legislators to restore dental coverage for low-income adults.  It is the right thing to do.

  • Use the form below to send a message to your legislators.  You can send the boilerplate email or for more impact, revise and personalize the message.
  • Find us on Twitter @OralHealthWatch and help us deliver the message: Restore adult dental now.

Learn more and find out who else supports restoring Medicaid dental coverage for adults.

Budget decisions are being made now, so email your legislators right away.



Here are some message ideas for your email.

Reasons to restore dental coverage:

  • Without dental coverage many people seek pain relief and treatment in emergency rooms, where care is much more expensive.
  • Adults who have dental coverage and seek dental care are more likely to ensure that their children receive dental care.
  • It’s much harder for adults with missing teeth and extreme pain due to dental problems to find or keep a steady job.
  • Untreated oral disease is linked to other serious health problems, especially for people with diabetes.
  • (Add a personal experience or example of how lack of dental coverage affects someone you know).


Email your legislator

Contact legislators with the form below and urge them to restore adult dental care.

Use this link to type in your address and find your legislative district. Once you have your district, put your name, district and other information into the form below to urge legislators to restore Medicaid dental coverage for adults.


Sample email

Please personalize to include why this issue is important to you.

Dear [legislator],

Thank you for recognizing the importance of oral health in your budget proposal. Please approve the House level of funding to fully restore dental care for low-income adults. It’s hard for people to get jobs if they have obvious and painful dental problems. Dental care improves health and reduces unnecessary ER visits, lowering healthcare costs.


[Your name]

[Your Address]

[City, State, ZIP]

Arcora Foundation
400 Fairview Avenue North, Suite 800
Seattle, WA 98109
Oral Health Watch does not provide dental care and cannot provide direct referrals. To find dental care in your area, please visit our resources page. Please contact Oral Health Watch for more information about our programs and oral health in Washington State