Association‌ of‌ State‌ &‌ Territorial‌ Dental‌ Directors
3858‌ Cashill Blvd.,‌ Reno,‌ NV‌ ‌89509
Phone‌ 775-626-5008‌‌

The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) is a national non-profit organization representing the directors and staff of state public health agency programs for oral health. It was organized in 1948 and is one of 20 affiliates of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). ASTDD formulates and promotes the establishment of national dental public health policy, assists state dental programs in the development and implementation of programs and policies for the prevention of oral diseases; builds awareness and strengthens dental public health professionals' knowledge and skills by developing position papers and policy statements; provides information on oral health to health officials and policy makers, and conducts conferences for the dental public health community.

A strong and effective governmental oral health presence in states and territories to assure optimal oral health.

ASTDD provides leadership to:
  • promote and support a governmental oral health presence in each state and territory,
  • increase awareness of oral health as an important and integral part of overall health,
  • address oral health equity,
  • promote evidence-based oral health policies and practices, and
  • assist in the development of initiatives to prevent and control oral diseases.

The ASTDD Membership consists of the chief dental public health officer (state dental director) of the state health department or equivalent agency, and the U. S. Territories. ASTDD also offers Individual or Organizational Associate Membership which is open to any public agency, voluntary organization, tribal entity and/or health professionals employed or interested in dental public health. Members and Associate members serve on and chair committee's or work groups, receive the ASTDD newsletter, are enrolled on the ASTDD list serve, and participate in the ASTDD Annual Business Meeting held in conjunction with the annual National Oral Health Conference. Individual Associate member dues are $75.00 per year. Organizational Associate Membership dues are $400 per year.

Apply online for ASTDD Membership

ASTDD Key Messages

State Oral Health Programs make an essential contribution to public health and must be continued and enhanced. Resources to Support ASTDD Key Messages.

  • 1. A successful SOHP must have diversified funding that includes funding for state and local evidence-based programs.
  • 2. A successful SOHP needs a continuous, strong, credible, forward-thinking leader.
  • 3. A successful SOHP needs a complement of staff, consultants and partners with proficiency in the ASTDD Competencies for SOHPs.
  • 4. A successful SOHP needs one or more broad-based coalitions that include partners with fiscal and political clout.
  • 5. A successful SOHP must have valid data (oral health status and other) to use for evaluation, high quality oral health surveillance, a state oral health plan with implementation strategies, and evidence-based programs and policies.

Announcements, Publications & Documents

In my President's acceptance speech I mentioned that my simple vision was "to connect and use dots to explore new models, ideas and systems." In the past couple of months, and for the future, I believe that connecting new ideas to create new and unusual concepts to assist in the development of initiatives to prevent and control oral diseases and other diseases is what we have been doing. The Thursday evening dental director calls since early April have brought many of us together to strengthen and foster relationships and to connect with other partners to gain capability and reach. The Thursday evening calls have averaged around 30 participants each week, with several discussion topics, the majority around how states are managing within the COVID19 pandemic. Notes from the meetings are shared with all dental directors so those not able to make the call can see the topics discussed. I hope these calls are helping support and strengthen dental directors in their work. Another connection that began by looking at other ideas from different places, across geographies and sectors is to address oral health equity. One of the Thursday evening dental director calls did address health equity and racism. This is not an easy subject to approach and it may make some feel uncomfortable. The Michigan Public Health Administration has been discussing diversity, equity and inclusion for many years. This is an ongoing process that continues today. I  think we are all aware of oral health disparities and inequities that face many populations. Learning and becoming educated on these topics can help foster conversations and build richer communities. In the bureau where I work, we have created a Health Equity library. It is small but has a few books that may be of interest--Teeth by Mary Otto and $2 a Day/Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer are a couple of them. The current book I am reading from the library is How to be Less Stupid about Race by Crystal M. Fleming. I would encourage you to read them.

Christine M. Farrell, RDH, BSDH, MPA

  • Navigating the ASTDD Website: This 10 minute tutorial provides tips on how to navigate the ASTDD website more efficiently and productively.
  • ASTDD Roundup - Check out the September/October ASTDD Roundup, a new bimonthly summary of selected ASTDD consultant, committee, project and meeting summaries
  • ASTDD 2020 Annual Business Meeting Minutes
  • ASTDD 2019 Annual Report
  • 2019 ASTDD Overview PowerPoint
  • 2020 ASTDD Business Meeting PowerPoint
  • 2020 ASTDD Awards Brochure
  • 2020 Fluoridation Awards Brochure
  • 2020 Fluoridation Awards PowerPoint
  • NOHC Virtual 2020 Special Roundup
  • Healthy People 2030 Oral Health Objectives Policy Statement (November 2020)
  • State Oral Health Improvement Plan Strategy Indicators: A Conceptual Framework Webcast -  Dr. Danny Kalash provided an overview of a qualitative analysis of all State Oral Health Improvement Plans (SOHIP)s in the United States. The analysis draws from a set of SOHIP strategy indicators and presents each into a conceptual framework among the three dental public health core functions and ten dental public health essential services. Summary findings for state and territorial oral health programs were provided. (August 2020)   
  • Addressing the Social Determinants of Oral Health: Local Strategies for a National Discussion Webcast - One of the goals of the California Department of Public Health's Oral Health Plan 2018-2028 is to "Improve the health of California by addressing determinants of health and promote healthy habits and population-based prevention interventions to attain healthier status in communities." The purpose of this webcast was: 1) to provide a brief update on California's strategies for addressing the social determinants of oral health, and 2) to present both a local oral health program's and a stakeholder organization's activities related to improving oral health equity in selected California communities. The panel highlighted how these local strategies can be adapted for addressing the social determinants of oral health by a variety of organizations and communities. (October 2020)
  • Best Practice Approach Report: State and Territorial Oral Health Programs and Collaborative Partnerships - This Spotlight discussed the importance and value of partnerships especially during these challenging times. Communications, flexibility and responsiveness to current needs and trends are the key factors to success. (October 2020)
  • Resources for Oral Health Screenings by School Nurses - During the current pandemic, school nurses may be the only avenue for assuring that children receive dental screenings/referrals. ASTDD and the National Association of School Nurses have collaborated to develop some resources to assist with doing so.

COVID-19 Resources


Organizational Associate Members

ASTDD would like to thank and recognize our Organizational Associate Members
  • America's ToothFairy: National Children's Oral Health Foundation
  • American Dental Hygienists' Association
  • Future Smiles
  • Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
  • National Network for Oral Health Access
  • Oral Health Kansas
  • OPEN (Oral Health Progress and Equity Network)
  • Organization for Safety, Asepsis & Prevention (OSAP)
  • School-Based Health Alliance
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Health Catalyst
  • West Virginia Oral Health Coalition
  • Wyoming Primary Care Association

National Oral Health Conference


Campaign for Dental Health: Life is Better with Teeth

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