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MCHB-Funded Projects

School-Based Comprehensive Oral Health Services 2011–2015


The School-Based Comprehensive Oral Health Services (SBCOHS) grant program's purpose was to demonstrate successful integration of comprehensive oral health care into primary care in an existing school-based health center (SBHC). SBCOHS projects were funded to deliver high-quality oral health education and preventive and restorative care to students in preschool, elementary school, or middle school with the greatest need. By augmenting an existing SBHC delivery system with culturally competent, comprehensive, high-quality oral health care and education, SBCOHS projects could demonstrate effective ways to strengthen existing SBHC capacity. SBCOHS projects were designed to respond to children’s and adolescents’ oral health needs and increase access to oral health care for underserved populations at high risk for dental caries, including children and adolescents enrolled in Medicaid and in the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

An evaluation of the grant program has been completed by Altarum Institute. All projects were required to collect a minimum data set consisting of process and outcome measures.


Integrating Sustainable Oral Health Services into Primary Care in School-Based Health Centers: A Framework

This framework offers ideas for school-based health centers (SBHCs) to consider when integrating sustainable comprehensive oral health care into primary care.


Bassett Healthcare Network, Cooperstown, NY
Bassett school-based health offered preventive oral health care to all SBHC sites. The project planned to expand oral health care beyond prevention to outreach and restorative dental care for those with the greatest needs at six sites, reaching over 3,000 students. Project goals were to improve oral health and access to care for children and adolescents. The project aimed to create an infrastructure using evidence-based data to support a best-practice rural model for sustainable care delivery.

Center for Oral Health, Oakland, CA
This project focused on expanding the capacity of two existing SBHCs within the Los Angeles Unified School District to respond to the oral health needs of enrolled students from families with low incomes who participated in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. The goal of the project was to successfully integrate nutrition and oral health education and comprehensive care into the two SBHCs.

Children's Dental Services, Minneapolis, MN
Since 1919, Children's Dental Services (CDS) has been the single largest provider of oral health care to Minnesota's poorest children. CDS worked to integrate comprehensive oral health services into the existing SBHC at Edison High School, the largest urban high school in Minneapolis. At the time of the proposal, only 42.1 percent of Minnesota children and adolescents who participate in Medicaid, and an even lower percentage of those who reside in Minneapolis, received oral health care annually. Edison High School is exceptionally diverse, with over half of its student population comprising recent immigrants and refugees from East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Mexico. The project proposed to expand access to oral health care by establishing a seamless system of patient-centered, community-based, culturally competent and translated services and supports for the SBCOHS grant program at Edison High School. Primary project partners included the Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support. The project aimed to connect at least 1,000 additional children and adolescents per year with a dental home with a full range of oral health services leading to improved oral health outcomes.

Health Mobile, Santa Clara, CA
The goals of this project were to enroll students eligible for Denti-Cal who do not have a dental home and to provide them with comprehensive oral health treatment. Few dentists in the region were willing to serve substantial numbers of children with Denti-Cal oral health coverage. The project aimed to provide preventive and restorative treatment to students in the local school district. The project conducted outreach, provided education for parents, and provided service to other schools in the district. Health Mobile has three mobile units and can perform 9,000 treatments during the course of a normal school year. Additional services were provided to neighborhood preschools, community centers, and other community locations in the evening and on weekends.

Health Research, Inc./New York State Department of Health, Menands, NY
The North Country Children's Clinic (NCCC) operates a comprehensive SBHC with an oral health program. However, there is scope for improving collaboration and enhancing the delivery of oral health services in in the SBHC. Through this project, the New York State Department of Health, in collaboration with NCCC, aimed to strengthen infrastructure to deliver services in schools by establishing a workgroup, improving coordination, involving stakeholders and partners, and seeking schools' mandates for regular dental examinations. This partnership developed tools and instruments for data collection, gathered data, and evaluated outcomes to assess program activities, outcomes, and impact.

Integrated Health Services, Inc., East Hartford, CT
The Integrated Health Services East Hartford School Based Galvin Dental Program Expansion project aimed to reduce morbidity related to oral health in a highly underserved community by expanding its oral health program to serve an additional 2,800 students. This was accomplished by providing oral health education and oral health services and by implementing a medical and dental record information system.

Lemon Grove Elementary School District, Lemon Grove, CA
The Lemon Grove School District and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine's student-run free clinic project expanded services provided in the existing SBHC located at the Golden Avenue Comprehensive Wellness Program to include free oral health care. A volunteer dentist and dental students provided oral health education and preventive and restorative care to students in kindergarten through grade 9 annually.

Share Our Selves, Costa Mesa, CA
Share Our Selves (SOS) is a private nonprofit health center network in Orange County, CA. In partnership with Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County (Healthy Smiles) and the El Sol Science and Arts Academy (El Sol), the SOS SBCOHS project aimed to create a permanent dental home that would encompass prevention services, restorations and extractions, oral health and nutritional education, care coordination, and direct linkage to specialty oral health care. The vision was to broaden school-based pediatric health services to encompass integrated, comprehensive oral health care for infants, children, adolescents, and their families. The SOS SBCOHS project is located in the City of Santa Ana, the site of the SOS/El Sol Wellness Center. Santa Ana is a key Medically Underserved Area in Orange County, with approximately one primary care physician per 6,613 residents and one dentist per 3,807 residents. The project served infants, children, and adolescents from birth through age 13 and incorporated culturally competent care coordination, including Denti-Cal enrollment, case management and counseling, patient tracking and recall, and service integration with the physical health services at the SOS/El Sol Wellness Center. SOS and its partners aimed to produce a replicable model for (1) oral health service delivery in a school-based clinic setting, (2) primary care and oral health care integration, and (3) long-term normative change in the attitudes and behavior of underserved families in one of our nation's highest-need regions.

Solano Coalition for Better Health, Fairfield, CA
Solano Coalition for Better Health—in partnership with the SBHC at Elsa Widenmann Elementary School in Vallejo, CA; an evaluation team from Touro University California; local dentists; and a local registered dental hygienist—aimed to integrate oral health care with primary care through this oral health project. The SBHC provided preventive and restorative care, community outreach, oral health education, and referral to students at the school, their siblings, and infants and children from birth through age 5 participating in nearby school-readiness programs. The target population shows high unmet need and/or a prevalence of serious but preventable oral conditions. The project increased their access to high-quality oral health care and thereby improved their quality of life. This project aimed to emphasize oral health education to raise awareness of the importance of prevention and good oral health habits and to encourage positive attitudes toward oral health.

Summit Youth Service Center, Frisco, CO
Summit Youth Service Center (SYSC) planned to provide access to high-quality preventive and restorative oral health care to Summit County’s children by integrating a comprehensive oral health program into Summit Youth Services Center’s existing primary care, reproductive health, and behavioral health services. The first contact point for an elementary school student to access oral health care at SYSC is the Elementary Dental Screening. Dental teams provided oral health education in all six elementary classrooms and oral health screenings and fluoride varnish to all students with signed permission forms.

University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO
Children and families within the Sheridan community needed comprehensive oral health care that is fully integrated into primary care. The new dental center provides preventive care (dental sealants and routine cleaning), restorative care (composite/amalgam fillings, crowns, and basic root canals), and rehabilitative care as needed (dentures, implants, and bridges). Emergency services (extractions, nerve removal, and abscess care) for acute pain relief are available. Specialty care and complicated dental procedures are coordinated with specialists in conjunction with the University of Colorado Dental Clinic at the Anschutz Medical Campus.