Texas Health Steps (THSteps) Dental Program


Provider Information

NOTICE: Caries Risk Assessment Now Mandatory; Training Available: Beginning October 1, 2015, Texas Health Steps requires caries risk assessment and documentation to be included in all dental exams. Beginning January 1, 2016, dental exams will be denied for reimbursement by Medicaid unless caries risk assessment is properly conducted, documented, and coded.

DSHS offers free online training with step-by-step guidance about conducting and documenting caries risk assessment for patients ages 6 months through 20 years. The training provides links to all caries risk assessment forms and includes documentation and billing information. Get a head start on this new requirement and take the training today by linking to the PowerPoint shown below.

Promoting Oral Health through Caries Risk Assessment and Dental Anticipatory Guidance [PDF 7.74MB]

Medicaid dental services rules are described under Title 25 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Part 1, Chapter 33. The online version of TAC is available at the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.state.tx.us/tac/index.shtml. All dental providers must comply with the rules and regulations of the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE), including standards for documentation and record maintenance as stated in 22 TAC §108.7, Minimum Standard of Care, General, and §108.8, Records of the Dentist. Texas Health Steps (THSteps) dental benefits are administered as Children’s Medicaid Dental Services by dental managed care organizations for most Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care clients who are 20 years of age and younger.
Refer to the Medicaid Managed Care Handbook (Vol. 2, Provider Handbooks) or to the HHSC website at www.hhsc.state.tx.us/medicaid/managed-care/mmc.shtml, for additional information about children’s Medicaid dental Services.

Texas Health Steps dental checkups are recommended every 3-6 months, starting at 6 months of age. Below are the different types of dental health services offered for children and young adults who have Medicaid.

Preventive Services include:

  • Dental examinations (initial or periodic)
  • Cleaning (prophylaxis)
  • Oral health education
  • Application of topical fluoride
  • Application of sealants to certain teeth
  • Maintenance of space

Treatment Services include:

  • Restorations (fillings, crowns)
  • Endodontic treatment (pulp therapy, root canals)
  • Periodontic treatment (gum disease)
  • Prosthodontics (full or partial dentures)
  • Oral surgery (extractions)  

Emergency Dental Services include:

  • Procedures necessary to control bleeding, relieve pain, and eliminate acute infection
  • Procedures that are required to prevent imminent loss of teeth
  • Treatment of injuries to the teeth or supporting structures

Orthodontic Services include:

(Prior authorization is needed)

  • Correction of cleft palate
  • Crossbite therapy
  • Treatment for severe, handicapping malocclusion
  • Treatment for facial accidents involving severe traumatic deviation

Clients should call Texas Health Steps toll-free at 1-877-847-8377 (1-877-THSTEPS) or go to MyChildrensMedicaid.org if they want to learn more about Medicaid and Texas Health Steps.

If someone wants to schedule a dental checkup with you, but they don't have a way to get there, Medicaid can help. Ask them to call one of the numbers below to learn more about Medicaid’s free ride service. 

Last updated November 24, 2015