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Priorities

Oral Health

Improving the oral health care system by increasing access, enhancing workforce development and supporting quality and innovation.

Why we prioritize oral health

The Foundation recognizes oral health as a pressing issue for all South Carolinians, particularly the economically vulnerable.

Poor oral health can diminish overall quality of life – with implications including chronic disease, increased health care costs and decreased employability prospects.

  • An estimated 40% of adults in South Carolina did not visit a dentist in 2016.
  • 1.6 million people in South Carolina live in an area where there are not enough dentists.
  • Far too many children in SC have untreated cavities – as much as 20% in some counties.

Interested in learning more about our work with oral health? Read about recent projects that we have supported in our Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Grantee Highlights books.

Fall 2020 Project Highlights Book

Spring 2021 Project Highlights Book

Pillars

The following pillars will guide our work to improve oral health over the next several years:

Access

Dental care is accessible to South Carolinians, particularly low-income children, through means that reduce barriers to care and improve oral health outcomes.

Workforce

SC has a dental workforce that is increasingly diverse and equipped to meet the needs of underserved populations across the state.

Quality and Value

Foster a culture of quality improvement and innovation in the SC oral health care system to demonstrate improved health outcomes and lowered costs.

An estimated 40% of adult South Carolinians didn't visit a dentist in 2016.