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Maine’s First-Ever Virtual Dental Homes Launch Following $650,000 Secured by Rep. Pingree

House Appropriations Committee member Chellie Pingree secured funding for the Children’s Oral Health Network of Maine to launch a network of Virtual Dental Homes across Maine

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) is celebrating the official launch of Maine’s first-ever network of virtual dental homes. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Pingree fought for $650,000 in Community Project Funding to help the Children’s Oral Health Network of Maine create a community-based oral health care system to make vital dental services more convenient and accessible for young Mainers and their families. 

“Maine ranks 47th in the nation when it comes to children who are insured by Medicaid but don’t receive any preventative dental care. As a mother of three and a grandparent of seven, this is an especially upsetting statistic. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, telehealth is an incredible, convenient tool, and expanding that model to oral health just makes sense,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “I’m proud to have secured $650,000 in federal funding to make this launch possible, and I look forward to supporting the Children’s Oral Health Network of Maine’s work helping young Mainers access the vital dental services they need.”

The Virtual Dental Home is a community-based oral health care delivery system in which children become established patients with a dental practice but receive their preventive care and early intervention in school and primary care settings. Licensed public health and independent practice dental hygienists deliver the community-based services using telehealth technology to share photos, images, and assessment results with dentists at an office location. The collaborating dentist then completes the exam remotely and creates a treatment plan for follow-up care as needed. This model eliminates key logistical barriers that many parents face in trying to get their children to a dental office for routine care. 

Learn more about the Maine Virtual Dental Home model here.

In addition to the virtual dental homes project, Pingree secured millions of dollars for community projects in Maine as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations bill. 


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