Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

CareQuest Releases New Teledentistry Toolkit

The CareQuest Institute for Oral Health has released Teledentistry Regulation and Policy Guidance: A Toolkit to Promote Access and Quality Care Through Teledentistry. This document identifies primary considerations for regulators and policymakers regarding teledentistry and includes key recommendations. Model teledentistry rules within the toolkit can form a basis for discussions on how to improve the regulatory climate for teledentistry moving forward.

In Pennsylvania, there is legislation pending in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee (HB1585) that would direct our State Board of Dentistry to develop guidelines for Pennsylvania.

Policy Statement Released on Integrating Oral Health into Primary Care

The ASTDD Dental Public Health policy committee is pleased to announce the availability of a new ASTDD policy statement, Integrating Oral Health into Primary Care. They extend their appreciation to Katrina Holt, MPH, MS, RD, FAND; Katy Battani, RDH, MS; and Ruth Barzel, MA, of the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center for their support and collaboration in the development of this document.

Click here to view the statement.

New Practice Guideline Released on on Acute Oral Pain Management

A new practice guideline developed by the American Dental Association, the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, and the Center for Integrative Global Oral Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine details acute pain management strategies. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs taken alone or along with acetaminophen are recommended as first-line treatments for managing short-term dental pain in adults and adolescents aged 12 or older. Former PCOH Board Member/Board Chair Dr. Deborah Polk, University of Pittsburgh, was an author on this project.

Click here to read the practice guideline.

New Pennsylvania Oral Health Coalition Resource Published: Oral Health IS Public Health

PCOH has added a new resource to the website, “Oral Health IS Public Health.” This resource details the connection between oral health and public health, why dentists and dental students should infuse public health in their work, and how providers can advance public health. The second page includes a redesigned look for the existing “Scholarship, Loan Repayment, and Loan Forgiveness Options for Dentists and Dental Program Students.” This is intended for dental students, newly-graduated dentists, and any other dental provider looking to become more involved in public health.

Click here to download the resource.

Just Released! 2024 Progress Update on Pennsylvania Oral Health Plan Outcomes

PCOH recently published “2024 Progress Update on Measurable Outcomes for the Pennsylvania Oral Health Plan 2020-2030.” This resource tracks the efforts of 22 measurable outcomes across three priority areas including in the Pennsylvania Oral Health Plan 2020-2030. The resource identifies a baseline data point, the current status, and 2030 goal for each outcome. Check it out to see how Pennsylvania is doing with improving oral health!

Click here to download the resource.

Act Now: Sign on to Improve Dental Care Access for Pennsylvanians with IDDs

Make a difference in dental care inclusivity for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Pennsylvania. You have the opportunity to support a crucial initiative that would support equitable access to dental care for the 1 in 4 Pennsylvanians with a disability. The Governor’s Exceptional Medically Underserved Population (EMUP) designation is an opportunity for Pennsylvania to access additional federal funding for vital needs like increasing primary care access, provider loan repayment, incentivized reimbursement, and much more. Lend your organization’s support – sign on today to improve dental care access for Pennsylvanians with IDD.

Click here for more information.
Click here to sign on to the letter.

Community Health Worker Survey on Oral Health Education Launched

The Pennsylvania Coalition for Oral Health (PCOH) is asking Certified Community Health Workers (CCHW) to complete an Annual Survey on oral health education and CCHWs for 2023. PCOH is a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the importance of lifelong dental health and CCHWs are key partners in this work. The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. For all surveys submitted before February 9, there will be an option to enter a drawing for two $50 Amazon gift cards. Questions? Contact or visit

DANB Announces New Scholarship for Dental Assistants

A new scholarship is now available to help dental assistants launch their careers. The DANB/DALE Foundation Scholarship is now accepting applications. The scholarship is open to dental assisting students and current dental assistants with less than five years of experience. Scholarship funds can be used for education, credentials, and activities or services that improve oral health in groups that historically faced barriers to accessing dental care. Applications are accepted now through March 4, 2024. To learn more or apply, visit DANB’s website.