Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)



First Advisor

Liam Heerten-Rodriguez


Primary dental care is a patient-centered service consisting of routine dental checkups. The oral cavity is the first point of entrance to the body for many harmful pathogens. Therefore, primary dental care is essential to not only prevent and treat conditions in the mouth, but to also reduce the number of systemic diseases in the rest of the body. However, people with higher incomes or wealth have increased access to primary dental care. People with low socioeconomic status have decreased access to primary dental care, at least in part due to difficulties in paying for separate dental insurance. Disparities in oral health are a growing problem. Preventative services need to be available to ensure everyone is receiving quality dental care. This policy analysis identifies barriers to accessing primary dental care for people with low socioeconomic status and evaluates policy solutions to increase primary dental care access and overall dental health.