Signs of Dental Neglect & How Kool Smiles Helps Children in Need
There are several signs of dental neglect in children, including tooth decay, tooth discoloration, infection and chronic bad breath. Left untreated, tooth decay can negatively affect a child’s overall health and cause pain, malnutrition and low self esteem.
Kool Smiles helps children in need by providing a wide range of dental services to underserved communities. Additionally, Kool Smiles keeps prices affordable and accepts Medicaid, Tricare, CHIP and State Children’s Health Insurance Program at every location in an effort to help as many children as possible.
What Constitutes Dental Neglect?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry defines dental neglect as “the willful failure of parent or guardian to seek and follow through with treatment necessary to ensure a level of oral health essential for adequate function and freedom from pain and infection.”
Sadly, many cases of dental neglect are more a product of inaccessibility than carelessness. With 80% of dentists limiting or refusing to accept Medicaid, millions of families are unable to afford routine dentist visits for their children.
Eradicating Dental Neglect One Child at a Time
Since opening in 2002, Kool Smiles has been committed to offering a wide range of dental services, including exams, cleanings, fillings, permanent crowns, extractions, braces and X-rays. There are more than 120 Kool Smiles locations across the United States, and most of them are in underserved communities with the goal of reaching children who otherwise might not have access to high-quality, affordable dental care.
Nearly 90% of Kool Smiles patients are covered by Medicaid programs, and some patients have no coverage at all. Since 2005, Kool Smiles dentists have provided over $100 million in uncompensated care. In these instances, no form of payment was sought from the parents of the patient, from any Medicaid or State Children’s Health Insurance Program or from private insurance companies.
By broadening the availability of dental services to children in need, Kool Smiles has been able to improve the overall oral health of communities. For example, in communities where a Kool Smiles practice has been operating for at least four years, the average number of restorative procedures needed by Kool Smiles patients has dropped by 28%.
Contacting Kool Smiles
Kool Smiles believes that every child should have access to high quality dental care regardless of their family’s financial or insurance situation or location. Unlike the majority of private dentists, Kool Smiles dentists can spend almost all of their time on patient care because they don’t have to handle the non-clinical aspects of running a practice. Additionally, multilingual staff members and free translation services are available for patients who require them. Kool Smiles can help children suffering from dental neglect get the dental care they need and deserve.