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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 people, for various reasons, lack access to critical preventive care. 

As a result, millions of people suffer from unnecessary diseases every year. Disparities in oral health, 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. 

We're Reimagining Oral Health . . .

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 collaborate with stakeholders to create person-centered, integrated systems of care that result in better health outcomes.
  • We invest strategically and provide collaborative, capacity-building support that leads to healthier communities.
  • 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.  

Our Five Areas of Activation

We bring forth ideas and solutions to create a more accessible, equitable, and integrated health system for everyone. We partner with thought leaders, health care providers, patients, and stakeholders at all levels to change oral health care through five areas of activation. 

Learn more about our Areas of Activation


Our Impact

Together, with our partners — providers, patients, policymakers, and stakeholders across oral health — we are creating a more accessible, equitable, and integrated health system for everyone.

Explore the CareQuest Institute Impact Report 2023 to find videos, stories, and statistics about how we’re improving the oral health system through our collaborative work in philanthropy, analytics and data insights, health transformation, policy and advocacy, and education.

2023 Impact Report

The Latest

How Community Voices are Improving Oral Health in Utah Blog Post
Blog Post

How Community Voices Are Improving Oral Health in Utah

Dental hygienist cleans examines teeth
Visual Report

Lower-Income Families Still Spend More on Dental Care

Doctor listens to patient's heartbeat through stethoscope
Visual Report

The Heart of the Matter: Links Between Cardiovascular Health and Oral Health