Our Core Belief
Oral health disparities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) in Nevada can be a preventable, avoidable, and solvable problem. When individuals with disabilities are unable to receive oral health services, that can result in pain, poor health outcomes, the need for emergency care and costly procedures, and loss of quality of life.
By promoting good oral health for individuals with ID/DD and supporting their caregivers, as well as connecting providers with individuals needing resources, improvements can be made to the health of some of our most vulnerable populations.
The Roadmap for Change
The Every Smile Matters project was launched in December of 2022 with support from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The Every Smile Matters Project will:
- Provide expanded dental services to adults with ID/DD on the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waiver for Individuals with Intellectual or Disabilities (ID Waiver);
- Reach out to individuals with ID/DD on the ID Waiver and their families to provide resources, tips, and tools to improve the oral health of the adult Medicaid ID/DD population and individuals with ID/DD across the state;
- Recruit additional high-quality providers to provide culturally competent oral health care to Nevada’s ID/DD residents who use Medicaid for their insurance and are on the ID Waiver;
- Support the development and promotion of provider resources and education opportunities to grow the ability to serve this population successfully;
- Provide training and continuing education courses to Nevada oral healthcare providers;
- Engage with community-based organizations, key stakeholders, leaders, educators, and partners to advance outcomes for adults with ID/DD in our communities;
- Assess barriers to culturally competent care for individuals on Medicaid with ID/DD that can be modified, dismantled, and improved, and conduct critical research about the reasons for Nevada’s lack of services for this population; and
- Identify and articulate policy, program and practice changes that will improve oral health outcomes for this vulnerable population.
Every Smile Matters is led by the following:
- The Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP), opens a new window Department of Health and Human Services, works in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services opens a new window to assist in providing quality medical care for eligible individuals and families with low incomes and limited resources.
- The Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD) opens a new window in the State of Nevada, Department of Health and Human Services, represents Nevada’s elders, children and adults with disabilities or special health care needs. The ADSD is the operating agency for the ID Waiver that the expanded services benefits.
- The Nevada Oral Health Program opens a new window The mission of the Nevada Oral Health Program is to protect, promote, and improve the oral health of Nevadans. The Oral Health Program and its partners collaborate to promote optimal oral health for Nevadans across the lifespan.