Burton L. Edelstein, DDS, MPH

CDHP Founder, President Emeritus, Ex Officio

Professor of Dental Medicine and Health Policy & Management, Columbia University

Burton L. Edelstein
  • Burton L. Edelstein, DDS, MPH
    Columbia University

Burton Edelstein DDS MPH, a Board Certified pediatric dentist, founded the Children’s Dental Health Project in 1997 as the voice for children and their oral health whenever policymakers address issues of children’ health and wellbeing. Dr. Edelstein has served children’s interests as a clinician, teacher, researcher, analyst, advocate, and policy expert. He practiced pediatric dentistry in New London County, Connecticut, and taught at Harvard and UCONN for 21 years before committing to full-time health policy practice and research. His health policy work began as a 1996-7 Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in the Office of Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle, then continued as leader of the Department of Health and Human Services Oral Health Initiatives from 1997-2000. He is now Professor of Dental Medicine and Health Policy & Management at Columbia University where he chairs the Section of Population Oral Health and the Section of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the College of Dental Medicine.

Dr. Edelstein has authored over 100 publications on topics related to pediatric oral health, dental education and health policy. He has consulted widely with professional associations, national organizations of policymakers, foundations, health and child advocates, state governments, and federal agencies. He serves as a Commissioner of the Congressional Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC). He 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. Burton Edelstein is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists. His work with CDHP and others has been recognized by professional and public health associations, student groups, universities, and others with the following awards:

  • Distinguished Service Award, Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors
  • Distinguished Service Award, American Association of Public Health Dentistry
  • Pediatric Dentist of the Year, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Presidential Citation, American Dental Education Association
  • Outstanding Service Award, American College of Dentists
  • Public Advocacy Award, Friends of the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research
  • Foundation of Excellence in Community Service Award, NY State Dental Association Foundation
  • Visionary Leadership Award, Medicaid-SCHIP Dental Association
  • Dental Visionary Award, American Student Dental Association
  • Cushing Award, Chicago Dental Society
  • Fones Memorial Medal, Connecticut State Dental Association
  • Clinical Research Award, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Harvard School of Dental Medicine
  • Fogarty Memorial Lecturer, Baltimore College of Dentistry
  • Edward Zegarelli Teaching Award, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
  • Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Education Fund Award

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Children with poor oral health were nearly 3x more likely to miss school due to dental pain.
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