Medicaid expands access to dental care for adults with certain disabilities

Carson City, NV May 01, 2023

Dental care is critical to overall health for everyone, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who may struggle with oral health and routine dental hygiene. Recently, Nevada Medicaid received approximately $2.5 million through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and a Federal Title 19 Grant to provide expanded dental services for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID) on the Home and Community Based (HCBS) Waiver. This is a first for Nevada.

"Caregivers and people with disabilities face day-to-day challenges with activities that we take for granted,” said Nevada State Dental Officer Dr. Keith Benson. “Simply brushing teeth in the morning can be a monumental challenge for patients and caregivers.”

Many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are not able to sit for a dental visit and need sedation or general anesthesia. The following services are now available:

  • Root canals
  • Preventative care
  • Multiple doctors’ appointments
  • Fillings
  • Cleaning
  • Sedation

“I have seen stress, effort, and cost place a huge burden not only on patients but also on loved ones and caregivers,” Dr. Benson said. “I applaud the dentists in our state that have stepped up to the challenge to serve this population.”

People who qualify can receive up to $2,500 in benefits per year. To help families, caregivers, and dentists learn about the new dental benefits, Nevada Medicaid has started the Every Smile Matters Nevada website. Medicaid members must contact their Regional Center Service Coordinator with the Aging and Disability Services Division ( to discuss their eligibility for this new program. The coordinator can provide a list of Medicaid dentists that can participate. Medicaid members who are already a part of the HCBS ID waiver can write to


Since January, 52 dentists have participated in the program. Medical providers who have questions about the program can visit Web Announcement 3034.


Ky Plaskon
Public Information Officer, Division of Health Care Financing and Policy