Delta Dental Institute to federal agencies: Prioritize oral health in leadership, funding

The Delta Dental Institute on Dec. 14 launched a campaign urging federal health agencies to appoint oral health experts in leadership roles.

The institute published an analysis examining the leadership in 12 federal agencies that oversee health initiatives, finding that only two agencies have employed a chief dental officer or equivalent in the past eight years.

"Federal agencies play a foundational role in advancing the oral health of all Americans, and to effectively fulfill this role, it is essential they have oral health experts among their senior leadership," said Joseph Dill, DDS, head of dental science at the Delta Dental Institute, said in a news release. "It's simple: oral health experts should oversee oral health programs."

The analysis also found that the average annual funding for oral health initiatives at federal agencies was less than 5 percent of their overall health funding in the past eight years. Additionally, it discovered that only one major oral health-focused report was published annually across all federal agencies involved with health issues.

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