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Statement from DentaQuest President Steve Pollock on Newly Funded Medicaid adult dental benefit in Georgia

National oral health leader applauds Georgia lawmakers for enacting bill that will improve oral health care access statewide

WELLESLEY, Mass. — May 9, 2024 — Georgia lawmakers recently approved approximately $11 million to support an adult dental benefit for people enrolled in Medicaid. This is the first step toward helping low-income adults with Medicaid coverage obtain routine oral health care. Prior to today, the state Medicaid program for adults covered only emergency oral health services – often tooth extractions. This expansion could impact the nearly 640,000 enrolled adults and ultimately ease the burden on Georgia emergency departments.

The following is a statement from Steve Pollock, president of DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S., which is dedicated to improving the oral health of all through purpose-driven, outcomes-based solutions:

“Georgia policymakers deserve praise for extending oral health care coverage to adults enrolled in Medicaid. Oral health care is health care, and we’ve long known the critical connection between the mouth and one’s overall health. This state policy change is recognition of that importance.

Research has shown that poor oral health is linked to higher risks of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, asthma and more. But having access to routine oral health care isn’t just going to improve physical health outcomes – it will also support employability, improved mental health and more equitable care for Medicaid beneficiaries.

This important policy change will reduce overall health care costs and ease the burden on emergency rooms by reducing the number of people relying on them for dental care. One estimate of the cost of avoidable emergency room visits nationwide is $1.7 billion annually. We applaud Georgia for this change and hope the remaining states yet to extend coverage to adults see the move as an example of how policies are an important step toward achieving health equity nationwide.”


The Sun Life U.S. dental business, including DentaQuest, is dedicated to improving the oral health of all through purpose-driven, outcomes-based solutions. We make dental benefits better for everyone through Preventistry® – an inclusive approach centered on preventive, quality care, expanded access and solutions built on valued relationships across the health care ecosystem. We manage dental and vision benefits for approximately 36 million Americans. For 30 years, we have delivered cost-effective benefit plans and services for employer groups, individuals, health plans, and government-sponsored dental programs. We are the largest Medicaid and CHIP dental benefits administrator in the U.S., by membership. We also support direct patient care through an expanding network of 80 dental practices in underserved communities across the United States. Learn more about the Sun Life U.S. dental business at and


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