Making Sufficient Oral Healthcare for People with IDD a Cost-Effective Reality

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experience poorer oral health and more difficulty in finding, getting to, and paying for appropriate oral health care, relative to people without IDD. Lack of oral health care results in increased oral and systemic health problems and lower life quality. This project assessed, by state, the availability of Medicaid-funded oral health coverage for adults with IDD, including oral health care provided through Medicaid waivers. Using Medicaid claims data, the project then examined whether increasing Medicaid coverage of preventive oral health services reduces emergency room (ER) visits for oral health emergencies. Finally, it examined the cost of increased coverage of preventive oral health services relative to savings from reductions in ER visits. The report provided recommendations for providing accessible oral healthcare to adults with IDD that could potentially be supported by the federal government. You can read the full report here.

This project is funded by the National Council on Disability, a federally funded organization that advises the President, Congress, and other policymakers on disability practices that enhance equal opportunities for those living with IDD.  

Project Staff (2020-2021)

  • Heather Koball, PhD, Co-Director 
  • Suma Setty, MPH, Senior Research Associate
  • Akilah Moore, MA, Researcher
  • Chelsea Fosse, DMD, MPH, Senior Health Policy Analyst at Health Policy Institute at the American Dental Association  


Seth Hartig