Do you have questions about Maine’s Virtual Dental Home initiative and how you might get involved?

Contact: Becca Matusovich (

Bringing the Virtual Dental Home model to Maine: a better way to reach more kids

What is the Virtual Dental Home (VDH) model & what does it accomplish?

The VDH model was developed by Dr. Paul Glassman of the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry and replicated in multiple states. VDH is a community-based oral health care delivery system in which children become established patients with a dental practice while receiving their preventive care and early intervention in community settings, such as daycare, school, and primary care.

Based on experience in other states, we predict that 75% of the care that children need can be delivered on-site in their school or childcare setting.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists defines the dental home as “the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way.” Maine’s VDH project strives to operationalize this essential ongoing relationship for the thousands of Maine children who are currently missing out on it. All children deserve to have a dental home; the many partners in this project are committed to making this aspiration a reality as we work toward our shared vision that all children in Maine can grow up free from preventable dental disease!

Who is involved in making VDH successful in Maine? What are their roles?

The Network is convening and supporting a broad network of nonprofit dental clinics, dental hygienists, and local Head Start and other early childhood programs/settings who are eager to implement the VDH model in Maine. The Maine VDH pilot is initially focused on serving children in Head Start programs and then extending into school and primary care settings. In each region, VDH implementation requires involvement from a community site (such as Head Start), a dental office, and dental hygienist(s) as the link between the site and the dental office. Each region forms a Local VDH Implementation Team with members from various roles as reflected in this graphic:

How can a region participate in the Maine VDH Pilot?

With a technical assistance grant from the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, we have engaged the model’s developer, Dr. Paul Glassman, to collaborate on a Maine-specific VDH workshop series. As an extension of the series, Dr. Glassman will also lead a Maine VDH Learning Collaborative which will provide all sites that are part of the pilot with templates and tools from other states and a quarterly forum for shared learning, troubleshooting, and mutual support.

Read the full overview.