ATLANTA, April 18, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Uninsured children throughout the country will receive much needed dental care at no cost during the Kool Smiles "Sharing Smiles" free care day Sunday, May 15.
More than 250 dentists and team members from 45 Kool Smiles offices in 13 states and the District of Columbia will participate in the day of free dental care, where operative dental procedures will be provided to children without dental insurance who may otherwise go without necessary dental care.
"We know many families in communities throughout the country struggle with finding affordable dental care, especially those families without any form of dental insurance," said Dr. Dale Mayfield, Chief Dental Officer for Kool Smiles. "While Kool Smiles is proud to offer quality, affordable dental care to children and families with various forms of insurance – including Medicaid – who would otherwise have difficulty accessing a dentist, we also understand that there are many 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 and costly 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. At the very least, untreated dental decay can cause children to settle for less than bright smiles.
"Children who don't have regular access to a dentist often have advanced dental decay and their treatment needs can be significant," continued Dr. Mayfield. "We want to put a smile back on the faces of these children by getting them the dental care they need, but which their families cannot afford."
Kool Smiles will provide dental care to area children up to 18 years of age Sunday, May 15 at participating Kool Smiles offices throughout 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.
Sharing Smiles Day is one of several community outreach programs and events hosted by Kool Smiles dental professionals. Other annual initiatives include Operation Troop Treats, a Halloween candy exchange that benefits U.S. troops serving overseas, and free dental health lesson plans and toothbrushes for pre-K and K-5 classrooms in celebration of National Children's Dental Health Month. In 2015, Kool Smiles provided more than $13 million in uncompensated care to children and families. Kool Smiles dentists and team members also give back to local communities through monthly "Make it Memorable" projects in partnership with local schools and community organizations.
"Increasing children's access to dental care and dental health education is a critical step toward addressing the oral healthcare crisis in America," said Dr. Mayfield. "But that will take more than just free care days. That's why Kool Smiles also accepts forms of dental insurance that many other dentists do not, and why we invest significant resources in community programs that provide dental health education and teach preventative healthcare."
Sharing Smiles Day is an annual event hosted by Kool Smiles. During Sharing Smiles Day 2015, 450 children in need received free dental care. Volunteers hope to double the number of patients served during this year's event.
Sharing Smiles Day is sponsored by the Benevis Foundation and made possible by the volunteer efforts of more than 250 Kool Smiles dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, office mangers, clinical team leads, and other staff members.
About Kool Smiles
Kool Smiles is dedicated to creating a world of happy, healthy smiles. As a leading dental health provider, Kool Smiles' mission is to improve lives by providing high quality dental care in a fun, compassionate environment. Kool Smiles dentists are proud to offer care to kids and adults with almost any insurance plan, including State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), Medicaid and Tricare. Kool Smiles also provides oral health education programs through partnerships with community schools and organizations. For more information, please visit www.mykoolsmiles.com.
SOURCE Kool Smiles