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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.


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


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


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.