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

ASTDD promotes and supports State and Territorial Oral Health Programs (STOHP) and STOHP leadership and staff development through a variety of resources, including the ASTDD Guidelines for State and Territorial Oral Health Programs, the Competencies for State Oral Health ProgramsInfrastructure Enhancement project, and the State Oral Health Program Review Manual. ASTDD consultants also oversee ASTDD orientation, peer support, and professional development activities through 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, or a comprehensive onsite program review by a consulting team. Contact Christine Wood at for information.

Territorial Workgroup

Serve as the ASTDD primary communication link with the Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and the US Affiliated Pacific Basin Islands and the lead group for implementing Strategy 3 of the CDC cooperative agreement, to convene an advisory group, conduct an assessment of infrastructure and capacities of the oral health programs resulting in a summary report, and provide technical assistance as resources permit. Workgroup members include Reg Louie, territorial liaison and coordinator, Ohnmar Tut, Pacific Island consultant, Magda de la Torre, Caribbean consultant, and Beverly Isman, cooperative agreement manager.

New Member Services

ASTDD New Member Orientation

New members, including state members, associate members and organizational associate members should contact the ASTDDD Central Office to obtain an overview of ASTDD.

New Member Orientation Webinars

The Role of Health & Human Services and Its Agencies in Promoting Oral Health (October 2018)

This PowerPoint provides an overview of the federal agencies under Health & Human Services as well as their roles in promoting oral health.

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) Selected National Partner Organizations (June 2021)

This PowerPoint provides a brief overview of some of the national partners that the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors works with to achieve national oral health goals.

Oral Health 101

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

These learning modules are intended to 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. (December 2017)

An Oral Health Resource for Medical Students

This series of short talks, developed by a student at UMass Medical School can be watched and listened to. They cover all of the oral health topics covered in the United States Medical Licensing Exam, Step 1. Step 1 assesses whether students understand and can apply important concepts of the sciences basic to the practice of medicine, with special emphasis on principles and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy. The series covers the following topics:

  • Anatomy
  • Normal age related findings and care of well patient
  • Nervous System and Special Senses
  • Congenital
  • Common disorders of oral cavity, salivary glands
  • Behavioral Health
  • Infections
  • Disorders of Skin, Subcutaneous Tissue, Joint
  • Other Oral lesions:
  • Vitamin deficiencies/toxicities that present with symptoms in the mouth

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)

ASTDD Peer Support Program

An experienced state oral health program directore will be assigned to new state members (state oral health program directors) at their request to help them learn about state oral health programs and their roles. The peer support program includes an overview of the peer support program, resource materials, how to request peer support, and comments from dental directors who have been through the peer support program. The program is only open to ASTDD state/territorial dental directors, but directors are encouraged to share information with their staff.

The peer support program is based on the ASTDD Guidelines and Competencies.

ASTDD promotes informal peer counseling through listserv discussions, individual emails and phone calls, and networking opportunities at the annual meeting. The ASTDD Annual Meeting occurs in April just prior to the National Oral Health Conference.

Professional Development

ASTDD encourages participation in conferences, workshops and webcasts sponsored by national groups that focus on increasing members' knowledge and skills, including CDC sponsored 1) Water fluoridation training, 2) Summer Evaluation Institute, and 3) Health Communication, Media and Marketing Conference.

National Oral Health Conference (NOHC)

ASTDD and 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

Archived PowerPoint presentations and handouts are available to ASTDD members on the Members Only section. ASTDD sponsors numerous learning opportunities throughout the year via webcasts and promotes other relevant webcasts sponsored by other groups (all are announced on ASTDD listserv).

Developing Individual or Program Learning Plans

State dental directors or staff may be interested in assessing their skill levels based on the ASTDD Competencies and then developing learning plans to focus their search for professional development opportunities. Use these two files to assess your skills.

  • Appendix C SOHP Individual Competency Assessment

  • Appendix D State Oral Health Program Competency Assessment

Technical assistance is available for a competency assessment. Contact Dr. Don Marianos at

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors Competencies and Public Health Accreditation Board Standards and Measures Crosswalk - This crosswalk highlights the congruency of the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors' Competencies for State Oral Health Programs and the Public Health Accreditation Board's Standards and Measures.

Technical Assistance

ASTDD provides technical assistance to State Oral Health Programs through several methods and resources. State oral health programs may request help on a specific topic, in conducting a self-study to determine progress or areas for improvement, for a comprehensive onsite program review by a consulting team, or for follow up to an onsite review. Depending on the type of request, technical assistance may occur via email, phone, 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 to questions you have is for ASTDD members to post questions on the ASTDD listserv (a Members Only listserv) or the kids oral health listserv (only for state dental directors and Medicaid/SCHIP dental consultants). 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. Additional consultants are available via ASTDD committees or via the following special topics:

Programs may wish to participate in a more formal program assessment through a facilitated self-assessment process or a comprehensive state oral health program review (SOHPR). A SOHPR includes various self-assessment tools along with an onsite visit by a team of consultants who conduct interviews, share observations and recommendations, and provide a final report and follow-up. The program review is not an evaluation against standards, per se, but rather a multi-stage assessment process that results in a final report with recommendations. After the review, ASTDD provides follow-up to arrange for further focused technical assistance, training or other support, depending on a state's needs, and conducts evaluation interviews to documents outcome after 3 months and 6 months. Please contact Christine Wood, ASTDD Executive Director,, 775-626-5008 to discuss your needs.

If a state is considering a comprehensive program review, download the ASTDD State Oral Health Program Review (SOHPR) Manual for instructions and the associated forms. Appendices are available as WORD documents for downloading and completion.

Other ASTDD Resources

Access to Dental Care: The Role of the Oral Health Workforce: poster presentation by Jennifer Sukalski for the 2018 American Public Health Association conference, based on a new ASTDD Best Practice Approach Report. (November 2018)

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?" Our presenter, Dr. Bob Russell, recently completed a Certified Public Manager Program through Drake University and shared his insight into these complex management issues. (August 2017)

State Oral Health Infrastructure: This ASTDD webpage contains several key resources related to state oral health programs, so they are not all repeated here.

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 helath residents. (September 2016)

10 Reasons Why State Oral Health Programs Still are Important - Because of recent changes in national and state health policy (implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion), the number of individuals with access to health and dental insurance may increase. Should more people have insurance, there likely will be an increase in the number of people who seek dental care. This raises the question, "Do states still need to invest in governmental State Oral Health Programs?" The resounding answer is "Yes!"(January 2014)

The State Oral Health Workforce: Examining the Present and Planning for the Future at the State Health Agency Level - On Friday, February 19, 2016, ASTDD and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials partnered to present "The State Oral Health Workforce: Examining the Present and Planning for the Future at the State Health Agency Level." Oral health is an essential component of overall health and well-being, but it is becoming increasingly clear that optimal oral health can't be achieved without a strong, well trained, and efficiently utilized dental public health workforce. The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors hosted a webinar exploring strategies and best practices for developing a strong oral health workforce within state health agencies. Presenters includes Dr. Karyl Rattay, the Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, who spoke to the important role state oral health programs play in the mission of State Health Agencies; Dr. Greg McClure, ASTDD President-elect who provided examples from the Delaware State Oral Health Program; Elizabeth Harper, Director of Workforce Research at ASTHO, who shared relevant findings from The Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS); and Dr. Don Marianos, State Development and Enhancement Committee Co-Lead at ASTDD, who shared highlights from a new report on best practices for developing workforce capacity in state oral health programs. In addition to the recording, the PowerPoint slides are available for individuals who were not able to participate in the webcast.

Tips for Grant Writing Success: PowerPoint presentation by Beverly Isman and Kathy Mangskau at the 2014 ASTDD Annual Meeting.

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)

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 Degree's in Public Health

Pre-Professional Experience: PublicHealth/MPH Oline

Public Health/MPH: Online Job Rsources

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.