Policy Publications

Community Water Fluoridation
A Public Health Success Story

Community water fluoridation is one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. National efforts of community water fluoridation prevent oral diseases, deliver health care savings and reduce oral health disparities. ADEA strongly supports optimal fluoridation of community water.

October 2020


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Additional water fluoridation resources. PDF



Update on Dental Education’s Role in the Opioid Crisis: Dental Schools Take Charge in Combating the Opioid Epidemic PDF

The opioid epidemic continues to be a leading public health crisis in the United States. This data brief supplements the March 2018 ADEA Policy Brief, The Role of Dental Education in the Prevention of Opioid Prescription Drug Misuse, and presents the overarching findings of the ADEA Opioid Dental School Survey.

March 2020

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Diversifying the Dental Workforce and Maximizing Community Care: Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) 2006–2015

This report provides a brief discussion of dental school applicant and enrollment trends by race/ethnicity. Dental provider shortages in underserved geographic areas are also explored, along with underrepresented minority (URM) dentists and U.S. racial/ethnic population parity data. The report also highlights the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, a program that is positively impacting the number of students interested in serving underserved communities and URM dentists entering dental school and graduating.

Published March 2018; updated November 2018

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Interprofessional Education and Practice—An Imperative to Optimize and Advance Oral and Overall Health

Interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when learners in two or more health professions collaborate to advance the health of individuals and communities. Established in 2009, the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) has been a leader in promoting the integration of IPE activities to advance health professions pedagogy. As one of IPEC’s founding members, the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) promotes the integration of interprofessional education within academic dental institutions as well as with other health professions schools and programs to improve oral health care and outcomes. In 2018, more than 82% of graduating dental seniors self-reported that interacting across the health professions during their academic careers improved their understanding of how to better care for patients. IPE allows dental students to strengthen their education while also inspiring them to serve as leaders in the promotion of collaborative practice and team-based care. 

November 2018

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Our Future Faculty—The Importance of Recruiting Students and Residents to Academic Dentistry

The dental faculty landscape is undergoing significant change. With 2015-16 data indicating that over 40% of faculty at academic dental institutions are over 60 years old, creating opportunities and interest in academic dentistry careers has taken on elevated importance. ADEA is helping its member institutions address this issue by promoting awareness among predoctoral and allied dental students and advanced education residents and fellows of the value and importance of academic careers.

October 2018

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Intraprofessional Dental Education: Where Do We Stand?

Trends in health care practice indicate that teams produce more effective patient outcomes than individuals providing clinical care. Our task in dental education is to use this team approach to provide a framework for successful dental teams to treat oral diseases. This white paper, a collaboration among the ADEA Council of Deans and the ADEA Council of Allied Dental Program Directors, presents a summary of the 2016 ADEA Survey of Intraprofessional Dental Education and provides examples of intraprofessional dental education models to aid institutions in implanting intraprofessional education into their curriculum.

August 2018



Examining America's Dental Safety Net  

This white paper examines the persistent unmet need for dental care and outlines the contributions of dental safety net providers, including academic dental institutions, in addressing it. 

April 2018



The Role of Dental Education in the Prevention of Opioid Prescription Drug Misuse

The impact of the opioid epidemic has been felt in communities in all 50 U.S. states, and curbing the epidemic’s exponential trajectory requires special attention from dental educators. This policy brief highlights strategies that demonstrate academic dentistry’s contributions to combating the opioid epidemic.

March 2018



The ACA and Medicaid Expansion or Lack Thereof: How is Access to Oral Health Care Affected?

This white paper provides an analysis of Medicaid expansion, or lack thereof, and its effect on the delivery of dental care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

January 2016



Understanding the History and Securing the Future of Ryan White Dental Safety Net Programs

This white paper reviews the Ryan White dental programs, the populations served by the programs, the federal funding streams for oral health and the opportunities and challenges presented by health care reform.

January 2015