• Oral Health 2020
    Growing the National Oral Health Network
  • Maryland Oral Health Plan 2018-2023
    A Framework to Improve the Oral Health of All Marylanders
  • Medicaid Adult Dental Benefits in Maryland
    SB 169: MDAC Submits Report
  • Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids
    Tips for Good Oral Health for Your Child


T he mission of the Maryland Dental Action Coalition is to develop and maintain a statewide partnership of individuals and organizations working together to improve the health of all Marylanders through increased oral health promotion, disease prevention, education, advocacy and access to oral health care.

Advocacy and Legislation

MDAC has begun work to develop a comprehensive plan targeting adult oral health in Maryland. In 2014, MDAC spearheaded a successful campaign to persuade the Governor to include an increase in Pediatric Dental Medicaid Rates to the state budget that went into effect January 1, 2015. Read more →

Interprofessional Collaboration

Through MDAC’s network of traditional and nontraditional partners, oral health education is reaching many non-dental professionals, organizations, students, and faculty members from a wide array of disciplines (e.g. medicine, dental , social work, law, pharmacy, and nursing).
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Literacy and Education

In partnership with the Maryland Office of Oral Health, MDAC created a national award-winning multimedia, bilingual oral health literacy campaign Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids. Since 2012, more than 400,000 educational brochures in both English and Spanish have been distributed.
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Mary Backley has been appointed Executive Director of the Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC). Prior to joining MDAC, Backley was Vice President for Finance and Administration at Grantmakers In Health, where she was widely credited for the successful development and implementation of multiple initiatives to grow its financial base of support.

Latest News

  • Racial Disparities in Emergency Department Utilization for Dental/Oral Health-Related Conditions in Maryland
    By Natalia I. Chalmers, DDC, Ph.D August 25, 2017

    Hospital emergency departments (EDs) are a place where many Americans seek treatment of dental conditions. Racial and ethnic minorities consistently have higher rates of ED utilization than whites for dental conditions. The reasons for these disparities and significant public health concerns are investigated less often. In this paper, we measure trends in racial disparities in ED discharges for dental conditions in Maryland from 2010 to 2013. To understand these disparities, we also describe differences between racial groups in age, gender, income, location, payer, comorbidities, and the availability of dental care. Read more →

  • The Tooth Divide: Beauty, Class and the Story of Dentistry
    By Sarah Jaffe March 23, 2017

    Otto’s book begins and ends with the story of Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old Maryland boy who died of an infection caused by one decaying tooth, and the system that failed him. In pointing out the flaws in that system, Otto takes us back through the history of dentistry and shows us how the dental profession evolved, separately from the rest of health care, into a mostly private industry that revolves almost entirely around one’s ability to pay. Read more →