Our Story

Arcora Foundation is the state’s largest foundation dedicated exclusively to improving oral health.

We were created in 1985 by Washington Dental Service, now Delta Dental of Washington. Arcora Foundation (formerly known as Washington Dental Service Foundation) is fully funded by Delta Dental of Washington. Delta Dental of Washington was one of the first dental benefits companies in the country, initially established in 1954 when the Longshoremen’s Union decided to finance an experimental dental benefits program so that the children of union members could have better access to dental services. That spirit of social justice and responding to community need is carried on in the work that Arcora Foundation does today.

Arcora Foundation started with just a handful of employees, primarily as a grant-giving organization. We partnered with a few community organizations on oral health programs for lower-income families, provided small grants to expand dental clinics and launched our SmileMobile to provide care to underserved communities.

Since these humble beginnings, our efforts have expanded across the entire state. Our work improves the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in every corner of Washington. Our efforts and the work of our partners have established Washington as a leader in oral health.

Arcora Foundation is known nationally as a catalyst for improving oral health. Approaches we’ve fostered in Washington have gained national acclaim and often spread to other states.

We are rational radicals, using approaches that demonstrate leadership, effect and manage change, and transform systems to improve health. We leverage our technical expertise and partnerships to improve health policies, promote prevention, and increase access to care.

We ensure policymakers, advocates, and the public have the right information to make wise decisions that lead to better health. Our goal is to change the trajectory of oral health so that in the future everyone can enjoy the benefits of good oral health.