Oral Health Connections

Improving the health of pregnant women and patients with diabetes


Oral Health Connections is a system of care that connects Apple Health (Medicaid) insured pregnant women and patients with diabetes with dental care in their community. The model is based on the successful Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) program. In 2017, the Washington state Legislature funded a three year pilot (2019-2021) for Oral Health Connections and directed the Health Care Authority to work with Arcora Foundation to develop and implement the program in three pilot counties: Thurston, Spokane, and Cowlitz.

Why focus on pregnant women and patients with diabetes? Oral health is essential to overall health. Poor oral health—specifically periodontal disease—can contribute to diabetes complications and has been associated with adverse birth outcomes in newborns. Improved oral health will help patients manage their diabetes and contribute to a healthy pregnancy.

This 3-hour CDE course highlights the evidence-based guidelines for delivering dental care to pregnant women and people with diabetes, including specific circumstances and considerations related to these two conditions.

At the end of the course participants will:

  • Understand the relationship between oral health and pregnancy, and oral health and diabetes; and how one impacts the other
  • Understand how to deliver safe and effective dental treatment for pregnant women and people with diabetes
  • Understand how to collaborate with medical colleagues to improve the health of pregnant women and people with diabetes
  • Receive Oral Health Connections certification to receive enhanced reimbursement from Medicaid/Apple Health

For more information, contact Sarah Borgida at 206.528.2331 or sborgida@ArcoraFoundation.org.