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

State/Territorial Program and Professional Development

ASTDD promotes and supports State and Territorial Oral Health Programs (S/TOHP) and S/TOHP leadership and staff development through a variety of resources. ASTDD consultants also oversee ASTDD new member orientation, dental director peer support, and professional development activities such as workshops and webcasts as well as referring members to other learning and leadership opportunities. Various levels of technical assistance are offered, including consultant advice on a specific topic, how to conduct a self-study to determine progress or areas for improvement, a program Guidelines and Competencies assessment, or a comprehensive onsite program review by a consulting team. Contact Christine Wood at for information.

Key Online Resources

ASTDD Peer Support Program

Orientation: New members, including state/territorial dental directors, associate members, and organizational associate members, are initially welcomed by the Executive Director. Dental Directors are then contacted by the Peer Support coordinator and Associate Members are contacted by the Associate Member coordinator, both of whom offer the new member an orientation to ASTDD.

Mentoring for new state/territorial oral health program directors/managers: The goal of the program is to assist new directors/managers by increasing their knowledge and skills to manage a state/territorial oral health program. Members can access information about the program through this link in the Members Only section. The program is only open to state/territorial dental directors, but directors are encouraged to share information with their staff.

Informal peer support is accomplished through listserv discussions, individual emails, phone/ZOOM calls, and networking opportunities at the annual National Oral Health Conference.

Informational Webinars

The Role of Health & Human Services and Its Agencies in Promoting Oral Health - This PowerPoint provides an overview of the federal agencies under Health & Human Services as well as their roles in promoting oral health. (October 2018)

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) Selected National Partner Organizations - This PowerPoint provides a brief overview of some of the national partners that ASTDD works with to achieve national oral health goals. (June 2021)

Oral Health 101

Online Learning Modules Summary: handout that provides links to all the Oral Health 101 and DPH 101 modules.

These learning modules provide an overview of dentistry and oral health for health department staff and others who do not have formal dental or dental hygiene education and who would like to have a better understanding of oral health. They all are PowerPoint slides with notes. (December 2017)

Orientation to Dental Public Health

ASTDD has developed a Dental Public Health 101 learning module for state oral health program staff and others interested in learning more about dental public health. (August 2021)

Professional Development

National Oral Health Conference (NOHC)

ASTDD and the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) co-sponsor the premier national dental public health conference each April. Attendees earn continuing dental education credits through a variety of formats, including skill-building workshops, plenary and concurrent sessions, poster and oral presentations, and roundtable discussions.

Audio conferences and webcasts

ASTDD sponsors numerous learning opportunities throughout the year via webcasts and promotes relevant webcasts sponsored by other groups. Recordings and slides from topical presentations can be found in the Members Only section and on specific topical webpages (search the A-Z tab).

Technical Assistance

ASTDD provides technical assistance to State/Territorial Oral Health Programs through several methods and resources. Oral health programs may request help on a specific topic or question, doing a competency assessment, or conducting a self-study to determine progress or areas for improvement. Depending on the type of request, technical assistance may occur via email, phone, ZOOM, travel to a state/territory by a consultant(s) or travel to another state or federal agency by someone from the state/territory.

One way to receive immediate feedback from colleagues is to post questions on an ASTDD listserv. All members are automatically enrolled in the all-member listserv, while other listservs are for specific committees or communities of practice. If you want feedback from a broader audience, you could post questions on the dental public health listserv. To subscribe, send an e-mail from the address you wish to use for the list with the word subscribe in the body of the text (leave the Subject line blank) to:

If you have other questions/concerns that require more in-depth, personalized attention, call or email Christine Wood, ASTDD Executive Director, at, 775-626-5008 to discuss your needs, or complete and submit the Technical Assistance Request form.

Other ASTDD Resources

Adapting to Public Administration in State Government:  How Not to Get Hung by the Government Ropes - Today's management environment presents many challenges including, dealing with multi-generational staff, office hours and locations, budgets, and hiring. Have you been struggling with how to manage staff that has a different perspective on how to complete assigned tasks?  Do you have staff requesting off-site work locations or flexible hours? Has your program budget made it difficult to compete with private industry when hiring? Are you making decisions based on your environment vs. instinct? Is there an opportunity for you to strengthen your leadership skills so you avoid getting tangled in the "government ropes?" Dr. Bob Russell shares his insight into these complex management issues. (August 2017) PowerPoint

Navigating State Government: Common Questions and Scenarios was a workshop presented by Dr. Bob Russell at NOHC 2018. It was meant to build upon the ASTDD webinar State Government: How Not to Get Hung by the Government Ropes.

State Oral Health Programs: make them part of your public health experience and future career - One-pager to promote state oral program experiences and careers to dental and dental hygiene students and dental public health residents. (September 2016)

Why are ASTDD and State Oral Health Programs Important? This document "makes the case" for why federal, national, state, and local agencies and organizations should support SOHPs and ASTDD and include them in their oral health promotion efforts. (March 2012)

Tips for Grant Writing Success: PowerPoint presentation (2014)

Links to Public Health Programs

These links are for educational purposes only and do not imply endorsement of Public Health Online by ASTDD

Public Health Online; Campus & Online Masters Degrees in Public Health

Pre-Professional Experience: Public Health/MPH Online

Public Health/MPH: Online Job Resources

Other Professional Development Resources

Association of Schools of Public Health. Ethics and Public Health: Model Curriculum The project was a collaborative effort between ASPPH, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and The Hastings Center. The curriculum includes self-contained modules, each written by a leading expert on the topic in question, and each containing resources such as an analysis of the ethical question, several case studies with commentary for discussion, resources for further study and research. (2003)