The goal of this project is to serve uninsured children 1-18 years of age that have limited or no resources for dental care. CUPHD enlists participation from local dentists in collaboration with local health department offices and others involved with the care of children. In the fall of 2010 the Utah Department of Health did an oral health survey of children age 6 to 9 years. The survey found that unmet dental needs were five times higher among children without dental insurance compared to those with dental insurance. Unfortunately, the survey found that 22% of children in Utah lacked dental insurance. This lack of insurance or not being able to afford care was cited most frequently as the reason for leaving dental needs unmet.
The most recent data shows that in the CUPHD areas 37% of children ages 6-8 years old have untreated dental cares. Central also has one of the two lowest median annual household incomes in the state (IBIS, 2010), and the highest percentage of people living without insurance coverage in the state (IBIS, 2011).
The goal of Central Smiles is to increase access to dental health care to uninsured children by partnering with community dentists. In order to increase oral health access to children, CUPHD has collaborated with eighteen dentists within the six county areas who are committed to providing services at a reduced cost for the underserved children. These dentists have dedicated the use of their office space and equipment at no cost, and to see uninsured children with these dental vouchers. We will continue to coordinate with these dentists to provide dental preventative and restorative services for an estimated 350 clients annually, with 500 estimated encounters. Our aims are to treat the immediate needs of our targeted population and to establish a foundation for better lifelong oral hygiene.
For more info please contact your local office.