Danny A. Kalash, DMD


Although children’s oral health appears to be improving nationally, it continues to stagnate or worsen among families of color, families living in rural areas, and families who experience gaps in access to social supports. While some states have achieved utilization parity among Medicaid-insured and commercially insured children, substantial utilization gaps remain in most states. For example, less than one in three preschoolers covered by Medicaid receive any preventive dental services. Danny’s research focuses on how policy changes to the Medicaid program impact coverage, access, and financial outcomes for children’s oral health. He aims to highlight state healthcare delivery system strategies and policies that enhance family’s equitable access to oral healthcare for supporting children’s healthy development.

As a pediatric dentist, Danny has seen how child oral health remains an entrenched marker of health and social disparities. He seeks to understand sources of inequities in families’ access to and use of key resources, identify and compare state innovations that reduce disparities, and explore strategies for scaling up policies that advance equity.


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