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Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

Illinois' Law Requiring Dental Examinations for School Children

Practice Number: 16012
Submitted By: Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Oral Health
Submission Date: January 2010
Last Reviewed: January 2017
Last Updated: January 2017
Best Practice Approach Example Illinois' Law Requiring Dental Examinations for School Children


Effective July 1, 2005, as mandated by Section 27-8.1 of the Illinois School Code, all children in kindergarten, second and sixth grades are required to have a dental examination by May 15th of each year in compliance with the rules adopted by the Illinois Department of Public Health. In addition, school code requires all school districts to submit a summary report of examination results to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) by June 30th each year. The summary includes compliance and oral health status information.

In the 2013-2014 school year, the most recent school year for which ISBE has published data; there were a total of 464,181 kindergarten, 2nd and 6th grade children.  The dental compliance level of all students in all reported schools was 71.4%. Of this number, 325,894 students (70.2% of the total student enrollment) completed dental examinations; 5,310 students (1.1% of the total student enrollment) complied by obtaining a waiver, a religious exemption, or an approved schedule for a dental examination appointment; and 132,977 students (28.7% of the total student enrollment) were not in compliance with dental examination mandates (having not completed dental examination or not received a waiver or exemption).  The compliance level of public schools was 68.9% and of non-public schools was 93.7%.

In the 2005-2006 school year, the first year of the new law, the dental compliance level of all students in all reported schools was 80.3%.  In years two through seven the compliance levels remained consistent and fell between 78.2% and 80.4%. These results did not include information from the Chicago Public Schools.  Information from the Chicago Public Schools was first reported for the 2013-2014 school year. 

Detailed reports on all data elements can be found in the Results/Data tab at 

School Dental Examinations Information Sheet can be found at:

Most recent compliance raw data reports by school:

Compilation report of the 2013-2014 data on the dental examination compliance status and dental health status of Illinois school-age students:

Lessons Learned:

The dental examination compliance trend for available data from the last four school years show that the compliance rate for non-public school students remains steady at 93% and the public school student compliance rate ranges from a high of 77.8% to a low of 63.2%.  The trend, though not firmly established, is negative in nature.

Table 1.  Dental Examination of K, 2nd and 6th grade compliance rates by year. 






Overall Compliance





Public school





Non-public school





Data Source:

Evaluation of this data shows that further outreach and education need to occur on the importance of dental examination prior to starting the school year. The Division of Oral Health will consider opportunities to do so in the upcoming year.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Mona Van Kanegan, Division of Oral Health, Chief, Illinois Department of Public Health, 535 West Jefferson Street, 3rd Floor, Springfield, IL 62761
Phone: (217)557-5322
Fax: (217)557-7117