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Access to a Dental Home for Low Income Parents/Adults/Caregivers

Kids' Community Clinic of Burbank

Grant Category: Access to Care for Underserved Communities, Oral Health Education

Linking Oral Health to Youth Development

Dental decay is the number one most prevalent health disease affecting 3.5 billion people worldwide. Oral diseases make up 4 of the top 30 most prevalent health diseases worldwide with untreated dental caries in adults as the #1 most prevalent disease and dental caries in babies as #17. While there have been significant advancements in the US, oral disease and tooth decay remain one of the most chronic conditions affecting low-income families with the prevalence of untreated tooth decay at nearly 50% for low-income adults and children. KCDC’s work in the schools and community prioritizes access and education so this underserved population not only is provided services but also understands their eligibility to free or low-cost services. In Burbank alone, 10% of children who needed treatments did not receive them because of limited community access, advocacy and fear toward and lack of understanding of services. KCDC’s mission is to lift barriers to care, offer open access, and create strong relationships to establish patients in our dental home.

We propose to partner with several local agencies that serve families to offer access to the first step in dental services: dental screenings and fluoride treatment for all members of the family. Multiple events with agencies serving Head Start preschoolers, Early Head Start (3-year-olds), homeless and pregnant mothers with children, elementary schools, mental health organizations, child care organizations will all be included in the offer of this program. Next, we will refer children with decay to our clinic for full restoration treatments. Those parents who bring children for at least one recall appointment will be eligible for restorative care at a partnering clinic. KCDC will track the new adult patients and we will refer endodontic, periodontic, and oral surgery needs to UCLA School of Dentistry and will receive billings from the hosting clinic until the funding is fully utilized. Oral health is intrinsically linked to overall health and development. Serving this vulnerable population provides equitable access for a more impactful investment in their ability to thrive.

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