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TxOHC E-brief

The TxOHC e-brief is our way of keeping members and stakeholders up to date with oral health and policy updates from around the state and nationally.

To view past issues click here.

May 7, 2024

Volume: XII  Issue: 8

2023 Texas Medicaid Dentists

As published in High Volume Dental Providers Are the Backbone of Texas Medicaid Dental Services, the Texas Dentists for Medicaid Reform (TDMR) “recently received the 2023 statistics of active and enrolled Medicaid dentists from a freedom of information request to Texas Health and Human Services. These statistics come from the THSteps Active and Enrolled Dental Provider Participation Report.”  

This data shows the highest-ever number of inactive providers at 4,429 all of whom are low-volume providers (serving less than 30 patients a year). On the other hand, “the high-volume providers, those treating over 100 patients annually, make the Medicaid system in Texas work” and not a single one has left the system.

Read the full TDMR article and view the data here.

Poor Oral Health and Alzheimers

A new report from CareQuest Institute examines current research on the links between poor oral health and the risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). It is estimated that by 2040, the number of individuals with ADRD in the US could reach 12 million, making it critical to determine whether improvements in oral health may prevent or reduce the symptoms of this disease.
Read the report at

Read the full Texas Tribune article here.

The Case For Health Equity For Our Veterans

Published in Forbes on April 25, 2024, The Case For Health Equity For Our Veterans discusses the case for “providing meaningful and comprehensive oral, behavioral and medical care to our veterans,”  what currently works well in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) what barriers exist and recommendations.

Read the full article here.

Veterans Oral Health Resources

Trial of Silver Diamine Fluoride Shows Efficacy

Per the ADA News brief, Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of silver diamine fluoride shows efficacy, “a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of silver diamine fluoride for caries arrest in children was stopped early because an interim data analysis showed clear efficacy of the intervention compared with placebo.”

As NYU Dentistry reported in Multi-center Study Shows SDF Halts Tooth Decay in Kids, “according to a large clinical trial funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). The preliminary results, recently [published], show that 54% of cavities stopped progressing after SDF treatment, compared to 21% of those treated with a placebo.”

Learn more about the trial from the following resources:

New Federal Policies Help Eliminate Barriers to Medicaid and CHIP Access for Texans

As published on April 24, 2024 by Every Texan in New Federal Policies Help Eliminate Barriers to Medicaid and CHIP Access for Texans, “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Texas’ partner in administering Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), released a Final Rule to better streamline the application, eligibility determination, enrollment, and renewal processes it regulates across states and public insurance coverage types.” 

“The fallout of Medicaid unwinding in states like Texas clearly shows the connection between eligibility and enrollment policies and access to coverage and care. As of March of this year, 1.37 million Texans — mostly kids — have lost their access to health care without having their eligibility determined. Several policies in the new CMS rule will help people enroll in and better retain their Medicaid coverage.”  These policies include procedures for when mail is returned, the use of “ex parte data in determining eligibility,” and a “minimum response time states must allow for people trying to enroll in or remain on Medicaid coverage.”

Learn more about these new federal Medicaid and CHIP rules here.

TxOHC Membership Announcement

We are pleased to welcome the following new members since April 29, 2024. 

  • Salome Masrani, DDS, MPH
    Self-Employed Endodontist
    Austin, TX 
  • Marvellous Akinlotan, BDS, PhD
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Texas A&M School of Dentistry
    Dallas, TX 

Job Opportunities 

  • Full-time Dentist I Position
    Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Region 9/10 in El Paso, TX
  • Full-time Community Health Dentist
    Harris County, Public Health Services Department in Baytown, TX

Find the full job postings at

Walmart Health Centers Closing Nationwide

According to Walmart Health Centers Closing Nationwide Including Newly Opened and Proposed Locations in Texas, an article from Texas Dentists for Medicaid Reform (TDMR), “Walmart just announced it is getting out of the healthcare provider business by closing its 51 Walmart Health centers around the country, including three brand new locations opened only a few weeks ago in Pearland, Sugar Land and Tomball, the first for Texas. This means they are not proceeding with the other 18 centers the company announced around the Metroplex and Houston to be opened later this year. The company is also closing its Walmart Virtual Health service.

These Walmart Health centers provided clients with same-day primary care, primary care, dental, behavioral health, labs, x-ray, community health and telehealth. […] Walmart cited a lack of a sustainable business model as the primary reason for shutting down the Walmart Health centers. [ …] Specifically, the company said that the challenging reimbursement environment and escalating operating costs made these centers unsustainable at this time.”

Read the full TDMR article here.

According to Sizeable Fee Increases for THSteps Medical Services Were Approved 2022/23, None for Dental Services, Texas Dentists for Medicaid Reform (TDMR) “compared the fee schedules for TMHP THSteps Medical services from 2019 and 2024 to determine if doctors are being hampered by the same reluctance from Texas HHS to increase fees that have plagued Medicaid dentists over the last several years. The results are in, and the answer is no. There is no such reluctance. Starting in 2022, medical fees were significantly increased for almost all THSteps medical services.”

View the full comparison read the full TDMR article here.

DENT ECHO Session May 16, 2024

UT Health San Antonio’s Dental Education Network for Texas (DENT) ECHO is hosting “Treating Kids vs. Adults with HIV” on Thursday, May 16, 2024, from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST presented by Dr. Cara B. Gonzales, DDS, PhD.  

Please register below to attend via Zoom:
For those interested in obtaining 1 hour of continuing education (CDE) credit for attendance at no cost, register by clicking the link below:


TxOHC CDE Opportunities

We’re sharing with you the latest issue of Oral Health Alert: Focus on Pregnancy, a triannual compilation of recent journal articles and other resources about oral health during the perinatal period from the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC).

Oral Health Alert: Focus on Pregnancy


  • An Assessment of Oral Health Training in Obstetrical Care in Massachusetts.
    Panda A, Silk H, Hayes C, Savageau JA. 2024. Maternal and Child Health Journal. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-024-03905-7. View abstract
  • Association Between Dental Visits During Pregnancy and Setting for Prenatal Care.
    Byrappagari D, Cohn L, Sailor L, Clark S. 2024. Journal of Public Health Dentistry. DOI: 10.1111/jphd.12596. View abstract 
  • Measuring Quality of Dental Care During Pregnancy.
    Herndon JB, Ojha D, Amundson C. 2024. Journal of the American Dental Association. DOI: 10.1016/j.adaj.2023.10.010. View abstract 

Materials and Other New Resources
Midwest Health Center Pioneers Integrated Oral Health Services (2024)
This blog post is part of HRSA’s Health Center Stories series.

Resources from the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC)

Digital Library
OHRC’s online library contains over 3,000 resources to assist professionals (you!) in providing education and training, developing programs, and staying abreast of new developments. Featured topics include Oral Health During Pregnancy and Pregnancy Guidelines.

Oral Health Learning Café
Engage with other professionals about integrating oral health into primary care via a discussion list and monthly webinars.

OHRC Update
Subscribe to OHRC Update for announcements about new and updated resources, website features, and other resources of interest.

OHRC Staff
Reach out to OHRC staff for assistance on oral health issues such as educational materials, Head Start, integrating oral health care into primary care, prenatal care, Title V national performance measure on oral health, and adapting or reproducing OHRC materials.

Warm regards,

— Susan Brune Lorenzo, MLS, National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC)

With much appreciation and sincerest gratitude, we wish to thank our 2024 Coalition Partners!

LIBERTY Dental Plan
CommUnity Care
Methodist Healhcare Ministries
Mobile Dental Care

Many thanks also to organizational member AccelHealth.

Accel Health

Your Contribution Matters

Your contribution is essential to our continued efforts and will make a positive impact on the lives of millions of your neighbors. No matter how small your contribution may seem, it is an integral piece of the larger puzzle leading to meaningful change. Please join in the advancement of our vision to make optimal health a reality for all Texans. Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to your participation in our community to continue this forward momentum.

TxOHC is also raising funds with Planet Green Recycle through our ink cartridges recycling fundraiser. Click here to request your FREE USPS shipping label to recycle your inks. Be sure to type in our Program ID Code: 32140 when completing the shipping form.

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Registration is open for the 2024 Texas Oral Health Conference being held in Austin, TX on August 2, 2024.