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Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

Partnerships with Academia

Practice Number: 23011
Submitted By: Maryland Office of Oral Health
Submission Date: October 2015
Last Reviewed: October 2015
Last Updated: October 2015
Best Practice Approach Example Partnerships with Academia

The Office of Oral Health (OOH), at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) works in partnership with the University of Maryland, School of Dentistry  (UMSD) and the University of Maryland, School of Public Health at College Park (UMSPH) to develop and implement strategies and initiatives that impact critical state oral health issues, including pediatric dental capacity. OOH partnered with UMSD on the Pediatric Dental Fellowship Program to increase the number of dentists who participate in the state Medicaid program. OOH also partnered with UMSD to conduct the Oral Health Survey of Maryland School Children since 1995. In the most recent iteration, conducted in 2011 and 2012, the survey assessed the oral health status of more than 1,700 students in 52 schools across the state.

In addition, in 2009-2010, the OOH collaborated with UMSD to organize a school-based dental sealant demonstration project; this particular collaboration was instrumental to the development of the Mighty Tooth Dental Sealant brand and website, which is aimed at increasing use of dental sealants in private and public dental offices and in school-based and school-linked programs.

UMSPH also supports OOH and the statewide oral health coalition, the Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC –, in offering continuing education for dental and public health professionals and continuing to maintain and expand the Maryland Oral Health Literacy Campaign. The MDAC’s membership represents a diverse group of organizations, including (but not limited to) the Maryland Dental Hygienists’ Association, the Maryland State Medical Society, the UMSD, as well as the OOH and UMSPH.

For additional information on the organizations represented in the MDAC, visit

Lessons Learned:

Keeping partners and stakeholders informed quarterly on oral health projects is a great way to get their buy-in when needed for future projects.

Identify areas where partners are needed to diversify OOH’s reach for future projects.

Continue building and maintaining existing partnerships and identify ways to keep them informed. 

Need to increase oral health literacy regarding caries prevention and early detection. 

This increase in awareness and change in behaviors exceed the results obtained from the initial HTHK campaign supporting our thesis that by targeting the audience of the campaign more specifically, the campaign will have a greater impact and achieve more significant results.  

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Dr. Harry Goodman, Director, Office of Oral Health, Phone: 410-767-5942, Fax: 410-333-7392, Email:

Joseph Redd, Chief Administrative Officer, Office of Oral Health, Phone: 410-767-7899, Fax: 410-333-7392, Email: