Maternal and Child Health Dental

The Iowa Department of Public Health provides funding to 24 Title V maternal health and child health (MCH) agencies in the state. The local agencies work with families through infrastructure-building, population based, enabling, and direct services to assure access to oral health care.

Maternal Health

Women enrolled in the Title V maternal health agencies in Iowa receive oral assessments, education, counseling, and dental referrals as an integral component of their comprehensive prenatal health services. Some agencies have dental hygienists that provide oral screenings and fluoride varnish applications, reimbursable by Medicaid for Medicaid-enrolled women.

Child Health

The Title V child health agencies receive funding specifically dedicated to oral health. The dental funds may be used to strengthen local oral health infrastructure and/or to provide basic dental services to uninsured and underinsured children.

Dental services may be provided through referrals to dentists who agree to provide limited restorative and preventive care to the child health clients. Reimbursement to dentists is based on the Medicaid (Title XIX) fee schedule. To be eligible for these funds, a child cannot be eligible for the Medicaid program, must be uninsured or underinsured for dental care, must be enrolled as a Title V child health client, and the child's family income must meet the guidelines established by Iowa's Title XXI program.

Dental services may also be provided through dental hygienists who are employed or contracted by the Title V agencies. Services include oral screenings and fluoride varnish applications, and are often provided at WIC clinics and in Head Start classrooms. Medicaid reimburses Title V child health agencies for screenings and fluoride varnish applications provided by a dental hygienist to Medicaid-enrolled children, ages 0-20.

Child health agencies strive to improve access to dental care for children through ongoing care coordination. This includes educating families about good oral health, assisting families with scheduling dental appointments, assisting families to find transportation to appointments, providing translation services, and reminders about follow-up of dental appointments and other services.

Additional information on the Title V MCH programs is on the Bureau of Family Health web page.