Reimagining Oral Health

It’s up to all of us — providers, policymakers, educators, advocates, and patients — to create a better oral health system. And the time is now.

patient in dental examination chair

Welcome to our oral health system . . .

Our oral health system developed over time in patchwork form, producing a system that isn’t well-designed to achieve the best outcomes for patients. The fee-for-service model leads to misaligned financial incentives. Dental providers are siloed from the rest of health care, despite clear evidence of the connection between oral health and overall health. Many Americans, for various reasons, lack access to critical preventive care. 

As a result, millions of Americans suffer from unnecessary diseases every year. Inequities, in terms of both income and race, are pervasive in access, treatment, and outcomes. In addition, people who do not have regular access to care often end up resorting to the emergency department (ED), which ratchets up costs. 

In short, our oral health system is ready for change. 

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We're reimagining oral health . . .

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Better access to preventive care for underserved populations. Dental and medical systems that talk to each other. A care model that prioritizes value over volume. Patient experiences that are equitable and holistic. 

These are not dreams of some distant future; they are happening now.

Thanks to the dedication of thousands of forward-thinking providers, policymakers, researchers, advocates, educators, and other leaders across the country, the oral health system is starting to look a lot different. We're helping to architect that redesign. Part of CareQuest Institute's role as a nonprofit focused on systems change is to bring those key stakeholders together — to shine a light on what's possible on the path ahead and then help us get there. 

We believe we must work together to create a system that is designed for all, to achieve better health for all. How? At our core, we believe that expanding access to preventive care and integrating oral health into overall health will help us all achieve equity.  

. . . and creating a better future for all

Our vision at CareQuest Institute is a future where every person can reach their full potential through optimal health. It's a vision we pursue every day. 

Every day . . . 

  • We improve health, partnering with public and private stakeholders to develop, test, and measure prevention-focused, person-centered strategies.
  • We invest strategically, strengthening communities and leaders working to improve oral health.
  • We mobilize coalitions and champion policies to transform traditional models of care.
  • We provide knowledge and skills to stakeholders who are focused on improving our systems.
  • We conduct research and analyze data, seeking, always, to improve patient outcomes. 

And, every day, we need you — every person reading this page — to help.  

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The Latest

The Connection Between a Healthy Mouth and Prevention of Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia
Upcoming Webinar: September 29

Linking a Healthy Mouth and Prevention of Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia

patient and provider
Visual Report

Discussing HPV and Detecting Oral Cancer: The Role of Oral Health Providers

The Hill Event
Event Recap

The Hill: Unlocking Access to Oral Health