In 2002, Virginia ranked close to last nationally in the number of Medicaid-enrolled children who saw a dentist. In response, the Virginia Dental Association, the Virginia Department of Health and the Department of Medical Assistance Services partnered with nonprofit organizations to create an all-volunteer committee - Virginians for Increased Access to Dental Care (VIADC) to invest in children's health and work collectively to improve access to oral health services for Virginians.


VIADC successfully increased the Medicaid reimbursement rate, added new members, and updated the Virginia Oral Health Plan. The Virginia Oral Health Coalition was formed in December 2010 with the charge to drive the Virginia Oral Health Plan and carry on VIADC's vision, expanding access to oral health care for all Virginians.

Our Mission

Ensuring all Virginians can access affordable, comprehensive health care that includes oral health by

  • Championing supportive federal, state, and local policies through our advocacy work
  • Facilitating community-based initiatives to address known barriers to oral health access through our regional alliances
  • Building a health system that includes oral health as an integral part of comprehensive health through our oral health integration efforts
  • Fostering a community that understands health care is an equity issue and seeks to learn from others through our monthly update and annual Summit

What We Do

The Virginia Oral Health Coalition is an alliance of hundreds of community members, health advocates, and medical and dental providers who recognize that oral health is an essential part of overall health care.


Our team works with partners to improve all Virginians' access to the oral health services through advocacy efforts, like Medicaid expansion, programs to raise awareness of the role of oral health in comprehensive health, and educational events for providers on topics like integrating oral health care into primary medical care and the importance of oral health care for pregnant women.

The Virginia Oral Health Plan


The Virginia Oral Health Plan is a set of goals and principles, created through conversations with stakeholders across the Commonwealth, to guide our work. The graphic to the right details the Plan's five main goals.

Download the full plan here.

Public Awareness

Work with policymakers to identify oral health gaps, understand the state of oral health in the Commonwealth, and create campaigns that encourage healthy behavior change. 

Prevention, Early Diagnosis and Treatment

Support programs that encourage prevention: community water fluoridation, dental homes for children by age one, and increase sealant programs in schools.

Medical and Dental Collaboration

Increase integration between medical and dental professionals by raising awareness of the link between oral health and overall health.

Insurance and Reimbursement

Advocate for a comprehensive dental benefit for all adults in Medicaid, while exploring coverage models for Virginians not eligible for Medicaid.


Develop a dental workforce that is incentivized to practice in underserved areas and work with dental educators to ensure students are exposed to a variety of environments, patients, and procedures.