Free Dental Services for Low-Income Adults and Children

Spokane Regional Health District hosting SmileMobile, Oct. 16 – Oct. 17

For more information, contact Heather Wallace (509) 324-1478 or hwallace@srhd.org. Media, contact Kim Papich (509) 324-1539
 
SPOKANE, Wash. – Oct. 15, 2014 – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD), in partnership with Delta Dental of Washington, will host the last leg of SmileMobile’s visit to Spokane County, Oct. 16 and Oct. 17, 2014. The SmileMobile, a modern three-chair dental office on wheels, typically only offers its oral health services to low-income children with limited access to a dentist, but will expand its offerings to low-income adults while parked at SRHD, 1101 W. College Ave.
 
Services are by appointment only, Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to Noon. Adults and children with Medicaid (Apple Health) or who are uninsured all qualify. Call 206.418.8970 to schedule an appointment.
 
The extension of free services for underserved adults is a welcome surprise says health district Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) Program Manager, Colleen O’Brien. Says O’Brien, “Even though our program caters to children in need of dental care, we are constantly bombarded by adults and partner agencies looking for low-cost dental services in the area. Our community’s arms (and mouths) are wide open to this wonderful opportunity.”
 
In Spokane, one in three adults do not have dental insurance and subsequently, nearly one in four adolescents and adults have not visited the dentist in the last year. This leads many residents to seek care for dental issues at area hospital emergency rooms, in fact, in a recent five-year period, local visits to hospital emergency rooms for oral-health related visits increased by 114 percent.
 
SmileMobile services range from examinations and preventive care to fillings and minor oral surgery – all provided at little or no cost to patients. Since it first hit the road in July 1995, the SmileMobile has brought year-round oral services to more than 25,000 children throughout Washington—an average of 60 children each week. In 2013, with the help of 38 volunteer dentists, the SmileMobile served 1,776 children. The SmileMobile is a partnership between Delta Dental, Washington Dental Service Foundation, and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
 
Right on the heels of SmileMobile’s visit is Teeth Week, Oct. 18 through Oct. 24. The annual event is an opportunity to unleash the power of oral health and includes fun family activities, tips on staying healthy, oral health screenings, and a chance to see an adult in a tooth fairy costume. For a list of Teeth Week events visit themightymouth.org/teeth-week/.
 
Again, to book an appointment for the SmileMobile, call 1-888-286-9105 to schedule an appointment. For general information about SmileMobile, please contact Karri Amundson at kamundson@deltadentalwa.com or (206) 528-7339. Parents and caregivers interested in more information and enrollment for the ABCD Program are encouraged to call (509) 324-1478. More information can also be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.
 
 
More information
 
ABCD Program
The ABCD Program matches Medicaid-eligible children, ages 0-6, to a dentist. ABCD children receive:

  • 3 fluoride varnish applications per year
  • 2 dental examinations per year
  • 2 parent education sessions per year
  • Restorative care as needed

Over 200 dentists in Spokane County are certified to participate in the ABCD program. Program staff work closely with these dentists, providing case management with ABCD parents, and technical assistance on ABCD program administration.
 
ABCD “E” Program
The Access to Baby and Child Dentistry “Expanded” (ABCD “E”) program provides training to pediatricians and primary care physicians to provide an oral health assessment, basic oral health education and application of fluoride varnish, which is reimbursed by Medicaid.