Second quarter | 2022

Newsletter highlights

Community Impact Report: The Delta Dental Institute (DDI) recently released its 2021 Community Impact Report highlighting the investments Delta Dental companies made last year to support the oral and overall health of communities across the country.


New research award: DDI is pleased to announce a new oral health equity research award in partnership with the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research. 

A note from the Executive Director

As we approach mid-year, we celebrate a few significant milestones that further our mission of advancing oral health for all. We are proud to announce a new research partnership centered on oral health equity, and we released our third annual Community Impact Report that underscores our commitment to communities. We also continue to shine a spotlight on the importance of oral health in the overall health care conversation by convening thought leaders from across the country. We are excited to share our highlights from the second quarter of 2022.


New oral health equity research award

DDI, in partnership with the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR), is pleased to announce the new AADOCR Delta Dental Institute Oral Health Equity Award. The new Oral Health Equity Award supports research that advances recommendations for greater oral health equity in populations that lack access to dental care and improves oral health literacy for underserved populations.

Two awards will be conferred, one in each research area, in the amount of $25,000. The application window will take place between July 11, 2022, and October 10, 2022. The award recipients will be announced at the 2023 AADOCR Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Portland, Oregon. 

Find out more


2021 Community Impact Report

DDI recently released its 2021 Community Impact Report, Our mission: your health, highlighting the philanthropic investments that Delta Dental made last year to support the oral and overall health of communities across the country. In total, Delta Dental invested $106 million in communities in 2021 — an increase over 2020 — and positively impacted more than 21.3 million lives.

Read the report

Watch our one-minute video to learn how Delta Dental companies and their foundations:

  • Expanded access to care
  • Advanced health equity
  • Built resilient communities
  • Innovated for a healthier tomorrow

Delta Dental of Kansas: Providing critical dental services to cancer patients. 

Since 2018, Delta Dental of Kansas has supported the Head and Neck Cancer Living Foundation (HNC), making a difference in the lives of thousands of people. Head and neck cancer, which often affects breathing, eating, drinking, speaking, and the voice, can also significantly impact a person's physical appearance and self-esteem and may affect a person's willingness or ability to socialize or return to work. For these patients, maintaining good oral health is a constant battle.

More information

Delta Dental of New Mexico: Providing care to the homeless. 

For many people experiencing homelessness, dental care can easily fall by the wayside. Delta Dental of New Mexico has an enduring partnership with Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless and provides critical support to the dental clinic, which helps deliver much-needed dental care throughout Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.

Watch the video

Delta Dental of Virginia: Advancing oral health initiatives in underserved communities. 

The Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation recently announced it awarded more than $570,000 in grants to eight Virginia safety-net dental providers focused on meeting critical oral health needs. The initiatives supported include the integration and expansion of dental and medical care to low-income and uninsured residents, oral health initiatives serving Spanish-speaking families, and the expansion of school-based oral health programs.

Continue reading


Addressing access and equity in Arkansas: Lessons Learned in Little Rock

A roundtable discussion with Axios

DDI recently convened state and local health care leaders, government officials, and medical experts in Little Rock, Arkansas, to discuss health access and equity challenges in the state.

In partnership with Delta Dental of Arkansas and Axios, DDI was honored to have leading industry voices join the conversation, including Cindy Gillespie, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Dr. Joseph Sanford, chief clinical informatics officer at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and Troy Wells, president & CEO of Baptist Health, among others.

Key themes from the conversation:

  • How health leaders are thinking about bridging the health care divide
  • Telehealth is emerging as a solution for closing health care gaps in rural areas
  • Funding continues to be the main impediment to making oral and overall care more equitable
  • Health equity requires holistic thinking beyond just access to care

DDI will also be hosting events later this year in New Hampshire and Washington state. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for highlights and live updates from the discussions. 

Learn more

Dentists are on the front line for oral and overall health

Dr. Keith Libou, Chief Clinical Officer for Delta Dental of New Jersey and Connecticut, discusses the important link between oral and overall health and how dentists can play a critical role in the early recognition of potentially serious medical conditions. 

Read the blog

Featured statistic

Oral Health is critically important to overall health,

but consumers need more information.

In 2021, nearly all adults (92%) and parents (96%) report they consider oral health to be very, if not extremely important to overall health. However, many aren't aware of the serious health issues linked to poor oral health. 

Percentage of consumers not aware of oral health's connection to serious health conditions.

Click here to learn more about oral health's connection to overall health.

*Source: Delta Dental 2022 State of America's Oral Health and Wellness Report 

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