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Grants to States to Support Oral Health Workforce Activities


Additional Links

Notice of Funding Opportunity (


Application Deadline: Jan 31, 2022


Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW)


Provides funding to states to develop and implement programs to address the oral health workforce needs in Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (Dental HPSAs) and increase access to oral health services, including for rural communities.

Objective include:

  • Develop and implement 1 or more innovative programs to meet the oral health workforce needs of Dental HPSAs in the state, such as:
    • Loan forgiveness and repayment programs for dentists who agree to practice in a Dental HPSA or serve as public health dentists for the federal, state, or local government
    • Activities and projects to enhance dental recruitment and retention
    • Offering grants and low- or no-interest loans to dentists participating in the Medicaid program to support dental practices in Dental HPSAs
    • Implementing or expanding dental residency programs in states without dental schools through collaborations with accredited dental training institutions
    • Consulting with state and local dental societies to develop programs designed to establish or extend oral health services and facilities in Dental HPSAs
    • Placement and assistance for dental students, dental residents, and advanced dentistry trainees
    • Continuing dental education, such as distance-based learning
    • Teledentistry
    • Community-based prevention services
    • Coordination with local educational agencies within the state to foster programs that promote children going into oral health or science professions
    • Developing faculty recruitment programs at accredited dental training institutions whose mission includes community outreach and service and have a demonstrated record of serving underserved states
    • Creating a state dental officer position or augmenting a state dental office to coordinate oral health and access challenges throughout the state
    • Dental workforce programs to address opioid use disorder (OUD) by improving best practices for pain management and/or increasing access to treatment and recovery services such as clinical training of oral health providers in the identification and treatment of individuals with substance use disorder (SUD)
    • Evaluating and addressing the impact of COVID-19 on the oral health workforce in underserved areas, including efforts to better prepare to adapt and respond to future public health emergencies and training on community mitigation strategies
    • Developing or enhancing dental therapy programs, including dental health aid therapist programs in accordance with state laws and policies
  • Evaluate each innovative program for use in continuous quality improvement, assessment of outcomes and achieving desired results, and to inform key decision makers
  • Sustain successful parts of programs beyond the period of federal funding, including other entities in a state adopting the innovative programs or strategies

Proposals are encouraged that incorporate facilities that are automatically designated as HPSAs based on statute or through regulation, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), FQHC look-a-likes, Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities, IHS and tribal hospitals, dual-funded community health centers/tribal clinics, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-certified Rural Health Clinics (RHCs).

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling: $400,000 per year
Project period: 4 years
Estimated number of awards: 32
Estimated total annual program funding: $12,800,000

Applicants must provide non-federal matching funds of at least 40% of total federal award amount.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants are limited to governor-appointed, state government entities, such as the office of the state's dental director or a state-run university or dental school. Applicants include:

  • All 50 U.S. States
  • District of Columbia
  • Guam
  • The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
  • The Northern Mariana Islands
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • American Samoa
  • The Federated States of Micronesia
  • The Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • The Republic of Palau

Private institutions are not eligible to apply for this funding opportunity.

States are encouraged to work with tribal entities to facilitate greater consultation and coordination between state and tribal governments.

Current Grants to States to Support Oral Health Workforce Activities awardees with a period of performance ending August 31, 2023 are eligible to submit applications that propose different innovative programs.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

New Program • Operating Costs and Staffing • Training Providers

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other relevant information can be found in the funding announcement.

Applicant webinar recording 1
Applicant webinar recording 2


For additional information or technical assistance regarding business, administrative, or fiscal issues:
Carolyn J. Cobb

For programmatic or technical questions:
Thomas Vallin, MPH

Topics This Program Addresses

Healthcare Workforce • Opioids • Pain Management and Opioid Prescribing • Parents, Families, and Children • Prevention • Substance Use Disorder • Teleservices and Technology