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Smiles for Innocents – Increasing Nationwide Access to Dental Care for Americans Released After Wrongful Incarceration

After Innocence

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

Making Dental Care More Accessible

This pilot project will help 350 exonerees dramatically increase their access to dental care, and learn about the connection between oral health and overall health, setting them on a road to a lifetime of better oral health.

The DTAF grant will fund an Oral Health Educator/Advocate who will (1) Survey 350 exonerees to assess their family dental needs, history of treatment, identify available resources for urgent and routine care, and educate them about the benefits and the importance of oral health to overall well-being; (2) work one-on-one with exonerees to close gaps in access to dental care (whether through job-based insurance, Medicaid or Medicare Advantage, or sliding scale dental care providers to low-income populations, and by closing gaps in utilization through tenacious case management; and (3) follow up with periodic check-ins to ensure continued attention to maintaining oral health, and remain on call to ensure they know how and where to get dental care.

For those without access to care, we will recruit dentists to provide free or sliding scale services, including through our large-scale partnerships with dental service organizations.

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