Dental Care Levels for CSHCN

Many children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) also have special requirements in dental care. The Medical Home Portal and dental care providers developed the following to describe levels of complexity related to providing dental health for CYSHCN.
Some Portal partners survey regional dental care providers requesting they self-identify the level of care they are able to provide. Responses are included in the providers’ Services Directory listings.
The Portal recommends contacting a prospective dental care provider for more information about their services and the insurance plans they accept. The descriptions below may be helpful when talking to a practice, particularly if there is no level listed in the Services Directory.

Dental Level 1

  • A common diagnosis (conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), asthma, arthritis, depression, diabetes)
  • Mild developmental delays
  • No wheelchair, oxygen, or essential medical equipment
  • Mild behavior problems or mental health issues
  • No oral aversions

Dental Level 2

  • A diagnosis that is likely to affect how care is given (conditions such as Down Syndrome, hearing or vision impairment, cleft lip/palate)
  • Moderate developmental delays
  • Wheelchair, but no other essential medical equipment
  • Moderate behavior problems or mental health issues
  • Oral aversions requiring patient/parent management technique

Dental Level 3

  • A diagnosis (conditions such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injury) that affects communication with the patient and how care is given
  • Wheelchair and other essential medical equipment (oxygen, pumps, etc.)
  • Moderate to severe behavior problems or mental health issues requiring sedation
  • Oral aversions requiring sedation

Searching for Levels

If you are looking for a dentist who provides care at a specific level:
  • Choose one of the "Services" below, such as "Pediatric Dentistry services providers";
  • In the "Search" box, use quotation marks and type in the level, like "Level 3";
  • In the results, you will have the option to enter a nearby city in the “City” box to refine results;
  • Click on the service and check the description of services to see if it matches your needs.
Reminder: Dental Care Levels are only included for providers who have provided that information. Other dentists may also provide care at these levels for CYSHCN.


Information & Support

For Parents and Patients

Services in New Mexico

Select services for a different state: ID, MT, NV, RI, UT

Dental Care Expense Assistance

See all Dental Care Expense Assistance services providers (19) in our database.

General Dentistry

See all General Dentistry services providers (8) in our database.

Oral Surgery

See all Oral Surgery services providers (3) in our database.


See all Orthodontics services providers (6) in our database.

Pediatric Dentistry

See all Pediatric Dentistry services providers (78) in our database.

For other services related to this condition, browse our Services categories or search our database.

Authors & Reviewers

Initial publication: August 2008; last update/revision: June 2019
Current Authors and Reviewers: