Since the fall of 2020, OPEN  has been creating a structural design that will change the oral health system to result in equitable oral health for everyone. The work resulted in a detailed blueprint, or plan of action, grounded in five levers, twenty strategic interventions, and numerous action steps at community, state, and national levels. The Blueprint will be rolled out in 2022, along with tools, resources, technical assistance, and a dashboard of metrics as the plan is implemented through 2025. OPEN welcomes other agents of change to join us as we push on the levers in order to make lasting system change.

Tell us more and we’ll circle back. Fill out this form to let us know where you’re interests are, and we’ll keep you in the loop as we roll out this Blueprint!

Amplify Consumer Voices

Advance Oral Health Policy

Integrate Dental and Medical


Bring Care to the People

About the Levers

This work centers the voice and experience of those not well-served by the present oral health care system. By engaging directly with communities, building grass-roots advocacy capacity, and collaborating with other progressive movements we can create a “megaphone” for the people.

This work engages everyone to collaborate from a shared policy agenda, collectively urging changes at the federal, state, and local levels. The aim is to address inequities by promoting policies that strengthen oral health coverage for all, encourage innovation and integration, and diversify the workforce.

We recognize that oral health is fundamental to overall health. We work within our organizations, among our peers, and in concert with educational institutions, regulatory bodies and other entities to achieve broad awareness and acceptance of this truth. We promote pilots, policies and practices to advance interprofessional care, integrate coverage and health information, and support everyone’s learning about the best ways to return the mouth to the body.

We know that prevention works in oral health. We also know that current payment approaches and traditional clinical practices favor invasive intervention over both prevention and effective non- invasive care. And lastly, we know that communities without access to such basic resources as healthy food, transportation, tools for at home oral care, and time face challenges in maintaining good oral health. We aim to flip these forces so that prevention becomes the norm, care teams are oriented to an upstream approach, and better health outcomes are valued and achieved.

To close the oral health gap, we must bring care to the people instead of insisting that people come to the care. We listen to communities to learn what they need, then support the allocation of funding for, and design and implement new models of care and workforce deployment. We meet consumers where they are, in non-traditional and trusted settings, and cultivate new messengers of health, ultimately creating healthier communities.