Public health agency for Snohomish County
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Oral Health
Tooth decay is the most common infectious, chronic childhood disease. It is five times more common than asthma. Tooth decay affects more than just teeth; it hurts overall health and productivity, increases health care costs, and decreases overall quality of life. Nearly everyone experiences tooth decay by the time they are an adult. Tooth decay is preventable.
The Oral Health program monitors oral health in Snohomish County, promotes healthy oral health behaviors, and provides tooth decay prevention programs.
Water Fluoridation in Snohomish County
Fluoride exists naturally in virtually all water supplies. Water is "fluoridated" when a public water system adjusts the fluoride to a level known to prevent tooth decay. Improving dental health is the reason the city of Everett began water fluoridation in 1992. Everett's system is the source of about 75 percent of Snohomish County's drinking water.

Although other fluoride-containing products like toothpaste are available, water fluoridation remains the most cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all members of a community, regardless of age, educational attainment or income level. Community water fluoridation costs about $1 per person per year, and is estimated to save $38 in dental costs for every dollar invested.

For more information about community water fluoridation:
Oral Health Services
Information about local dental resources is provided on this webpage and on a recorded telephone message. Oral Health staff contact dentists and clinics every quarter and update the list of those that take medical coupons (DSHS) or offer lower cost dental care.
The Public Health Dental Hygienist is available to assist those with difficulty finding dental care that meets their needs. The recorded message is available round the clock. Information about lowest cost resources for preventive, urgent and emergent dental care in Snohomish County is available at 425.339.5219 or in the Dental Care Resources in Snohomish County below.
Dental Care Resources in Snohomish County
Dentists stop taking new patients with Medicaid coverage when patients with Medicaid miss visits. Missed visits cost dentists money. Dentists like to be called as soon as patients know the visit time must be changed, so the appointment can be given to another person. Last minute changes mean the time is not filled with another person. Medicaid pays the dentist much less than other types of dental insurance. This payment is less than what other people or insurers pay for the same dental care. Less than 10% accept Medicaid coverage for adults. Private dentists usually do not provide dental care at a reduced cost.
Dental Resources (28.1.11)
1) Community clinics and other resources that offer sliding fee scale and other low cost options for dental care. 2) Private dentists who have agreed to accept patients with Medicaid coverage at this time. [ This list is updated quarterly. ]
Snohomish County Dental Resources
  1. Crowns  web
    Information about Crowns
  2. Dental Patient Rights and Responsibility  file
    Information about Dental Patient Rights and Responsibility
  3. Implants  web
    Information about Dental Implants
  4. Rootcanal  web
    Information about Rootcanal (endodontic)
  5. Search For Dental Services  web
    School of Dentistry University of Washington - Search for Dental Services
  6. What is a dental emergency?  web
    American Dental Association - Dental Emergency and Injuries
Oral Health Reports
The oral health program looks at how our community can have a healthy mouth and healthy teeth. Dentists, children and adults, dental policies, costs of dental care, schools, daycares, water districts, and other community programs are surveyed.
Oral Health Surveys
Snohomish Health District periodically evaluates the oral health of Snohomish County residents by participating in assessments of state and local oral health and availability of dental care.
List of Oral Health Surveys:
HPSA Survey Report (28.1.2)
Access to Dental Care in Snohomish County 2004
SMILE Survey, 2000 - Snohomish County Report (2)
Report of Snohomish County SMILE Survey 2000
SMILE Survey, 2000 - Washington State Report (28.1.2)
Report of Washington State SMILE Survey 2000
SMILE Survey, 2005 - Snohomish County Report (2)
Report of Snohomish County SMILE Survey 2005
SMILE Survey, 2005 - Washington State Report (28.1.2)
Report of Washington State SMILE Survey 2005
Oral Health Education
Fluoride and dental sealants stop tooth decay. The Oral Health program provides classes for families and professional trainings.
Oral Health Regulations
List of Washington State Laws Related To Oral Health:
RCW 18.29 (28.1.5)
Dental hygienists
RCW 18.30 (28.1.5)
RCW 18.32 (28.1.5)
RCW 41.05.183 (28.1.5)
General anesthesia services for dental procedures--public employee benefit plans
RCW 43.70.650 (28.1.5)
School sealant endorsement program
RCW 48.43.185 (28.1.5)
General anesthesia services for dental procedures
RCW 49.64.040 (28.1.5)
Dental care assistance plans – options required
RCW 57.08.012 (28.1.5)
Fluoridation of water authorized
WAC 246-290-460 (28.1.5)
Fluoridation of drinking water
WAC 246-812 (28.1.5)
Board of denture technology
WAC 246-814 (28.1.5)
Access to dental care for children
WAC 246-815 (28.1.5)
Dental hygienists
WAC 246-817 (28.1.5)
Dental quality assurance commission
WAC 296-20-110 (28.1.5)
Medical aid rules – dental
WAC 388-535 (28.1.5)
State covered dental services
WAC 388-535A (28.1.5)
Orthodontic services
WAC 458-20-151 (28.1.5)
Dental business practices
Contact Info
Phone: 425.339.5219
Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
List of Oral Health Resources:
  1. American Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors  web
    Information about American Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors
  2. American Dental Association  web
    Oral Health Resource
  3. Centers for Disease Control  web
    Oral Health Resources

Last Reviewed and updated 3/28/2012