Free Care Day brings Dental Care Access to local Children in Need

Published FEBRUARY 13, 2015

Hundreds of dentists to give back to local communities during Sunday event. In recognition of Children’s Dental Health Month, children without dental insurance all over the country will receive much needed dental care at no cost, during the Kool Smiles’ “Sharing Smiles” free care day on Sunday, February 22.

More than 400 dentists and staff members from 53 Kool Smiles’ offices in 13 states will participate in the day of free care, where operative dental procedures will be provided to children without dental insurance who may otherwise go without necessary dental care.

“Children without dental insurance represent an enormous need in the dental community,” said Polly Boehnlein, DDS, MS, a board-certified pediatric dentist and managing dental director for Kool Smiles.
“While Kool Smiles is proud to offer quality, affordable dental care to children and families who would otherwise have difficulty accessing a dentist, we also understand that there are many children and families who have no form of dental insurance and no means to pay for regular check-ups that often help prevent the onset of more complicated conditions.”

If left untreated, dental decay can lead to pain, difficulty eating and chewing, and more serious infections — some of which can be life threatening.

“Children who do not have regular access to a dentist often exhibit advanced dental decay and their treatment needs can be significant,” continued Dr. Boehnlein. “We want to put a smile back on the faces of these children by getting them the dental care they need but their families cannot afford.”

Dental care will be provided to area children up to 18 years of age on Sunday, February 22 at participating Kool Smiles’ offices across the country. Available treatment will include dental exams, limited emergency care, extractions, fillings, sealants, and baby tooth root canals and crowns. Treatment will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis and treatment offerings will be determined by the dentist.

In an effort to serve children who are in the greatest need, eligibility will be limited to children who have no form of dental insurance. The Kool Smiles’ website provides more information on the “Sharing Smiles” free care day, including where parents of children in need of dental care can find a nearby participating office. Those interested can visit the Sharing Smiles website at mykoolsmiles.com/sharingsmiles.

In addition to the “Sharing Smiles” day of care, Kool Smiles’ dental professionals also provided more than $16 million in uncompensated care in 2014. Dentists also give back to local communities through partnerships with schools and organizations.

“Bridging the gap in access to dental care for children in this country will help to solve the oral health crisis in America,” said Dr. Boehnlein. “But that will take more than just free care days. That’s why Kool Smiles also invests a significant amount of our dentists’ time and company resources in community programs that provide dental health education and teach preventative healthcare.”

The Kool Smiles’ “Sharing Smiles” day of free care is sponsored by the Benevis Foundation. Sharing Smiles Day is made possible by the volunteer efforts of more than 400 Kool Smiles’ dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, office mangers, clinical team leads, and other staff members.