AUSTIN, Texas, April 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kool Smiles, a leading provider of quality dental care for underserved children and families in Texas, today announced its affiliate dentists have provided more than $19 million in uncompensated dental care since 2005. The uncompensated dental care program has helped more than 226,000 patients in Texas receive necessary dental treatments in instances where they did not have access to the Medicaid dental benefit or other dental insurance, and could not afford to pay out of pocket.
"At Kool Smiles, we believe every family deserves access to high-quality, affordable and compassionate dental care," said Dr. D Ray Gifford, Managing Dental Director for Kool Smiles in Texas. "We aim to provide a dental home to every family who needs one by accepting insurance plans – including Medicaid – that many dentists don't. We also recognize there are many patients in our communities who lack dental coverage, and whose families can't afford to pay out of pocket for needed dental services. We believe it's our moral and professional duty to provide uncompensated care in those instances, so that all patients receive the dental care they need."
According to a 2016 Pew Charitable Trusts report, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among U.S. children – five times more prevalent than asthma – and dental care is one of the nation's greatest unmet health needs among children, especially in low-income, minority, and rural communities. In 2012, more than four million children did not receive needed dental care because their families could not afford it. Even when controlling for insurance status, low-income and minority children remain less likely than their more well-off peers to receive preventive dental care, according to the report.
As a leading dental health provider, Kool Smiles' mission is to improve lives by providing high quality dental care in a fun, compassionate environment. Founded in 2002, Kool Smiles has 35 affiliated dental practices throughout Texas, primarily in underserved communities that have historically lacked access to dental care. 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.