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Burton L. Edelstein

Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Columbia University Medical Center

Professor of Dentistry (in Community Health) at the Columbia University Medical Center, School of Dental and Oral Surgery (home dept.)

Dr. Burton L. Edelstein is a board-certified pediatric dentist and professor of dentistry and public health at Columbia University, where he is Chairman of the Section on Social and Behavioral Sciences in the College of Dental Medicine. His is founding director of the Children's Dental Health Project, a DC-based organization that promotes federal and state policies and programs to improve children's oral health equity. At CDHP, he is Director of the National Oral Health Policy Center supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Dr. Edelstein practiced pediatric dentistry in Connecticut
and taught at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine for 21 years before committing to a full-time health policy position. With primary responsibilities for SCHIP, he served as a 1996-7 Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in the office of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. He worked with the US Department of Health and Human Services on its oral health initiatives from 1998 to 2001, chaired the US Surgeon General's Workshop on Children and Oral Health, and authored the child section of the US Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health in America.

Dr. Edelstein is a graduate of Harpur College, SUNY Buffalo School of Dentistry, Harvard School of Public Health, and the Boston Children's Hospital pediatric dentistry residency program. His work has been recognized by awards from a number of organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and the American College of Dentists.

Education & Training:

    MPH, 1977, Harvard University

    DDS, 1972, SUNY Buffalo

    BA, 1968, SUNY Binghamton

Honors and Awards:
  • American College of Dentists Distinguished Service Award, 2003
  • Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors' Service Award, 1999
  • Harvard School of Dental Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2001
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Pediatric Dentist of the Year Award, 1998
  • American Association of Public Health Dentistry, Distinguished Service Award, 2009
New York City
    Community Based Dental Partnership Program Project URL: http://

    This HIV/AIDS dental program is a federally-sponsored cooperative project between Columbia University and the Harlem United AIDS Center. It provides dental resident training and direct services to people living with HIV/AIDS who have complex social and medical comorbidities.

    Leadership Training in Pediatric Dentistry Project URL: http://

    This federally sponsored (Maternal and Child Health Bureau) health professional training program, expands upon the New York Presbyterian Hospital's training of pediatric dentists by coordinating services through Head Start Centers and by stimulating community engagement by trainees.

    Global Childrens Dental Health Taskforce
    Founded in 2006, this international program seeks to reduce the incidence of Early Childhood Caries (ECC) through application of recognized preventive and disease management approaches. The ultimate goal is eradication of ECC.

Selected Publications:
  • Edelstein BL, Vargas C, Candelaria C, Vemuri M. Experience and Public Policy Implications of Children Presenting with Dental Emergencies to US Pediatric Dental Training Programs. Pediatr Dent 28 431-437 2007
  • Edelstein B Public policy considerations in adopting a mandatory post graduate year Journal of Dental Education 63 644-67 1999
  • Edelstein BL. Conceptual frameworks for understanding system capacity in the care of people with special health care needs. Pediatr Dent 29 108-16 2007
  • Edelstein BL State options in contracting dental care in Medicaid CT Health Foundation (www.cthealth.org) Connecticut Health Foundation 2003
  • Edelstein BL Dental care considerations for young children Special Care Dentistry 22 11S-25S 2002
  • Edelstein BL Disparities in oral health and access to care: findings of national surveys Ambulatory Pediatrics 2 2002
  • Edelstein BL External forces impacting U.S. healthcare: implications for future dental practice Journal of the American College of Dentists 69 39-43 2002
  • Manski RJ, Edelstien BL, Moeller JF The impact of insurance coverage on children's dental visits and expenditures Journal of the American Dental Association 132 1137-45 2001
  • Edelstein BL Access to dental care for Head Start enrollees Journal of Public Health Dentistry 60 221-9 2000
  • Zavras T, Edelstein B, Vamvakidis T Health care savings from microbiologic caries risk screening of toddlers: a cost estimation model Journal of Public Health Dentistry 60 182-8 2000

Contact Information


601 West 168th Street, Suite 32

New York, NY 10032


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For inquiries contact:

Irene Huhulea