Almost every day, Delta Dental's mobile dental staff sees a child who is in pain because of untreated dental disease. These are children who, for a variety of reasons, have been unable to access adequate dental care.
And while too many "it's just a cavity," in reality dental disease is painful, affects a child's overall health and often leads to poor school performance. In fact, dental decay is the single most common chronic disease of early childhood, five times more common than asthma. And while rare, dental disease, if left untreated, can lead to death.
Because of the profound effects dental disease can have on children, in 2004 Delta Dental of South Dakota, through funding from the Delta Dental Philanthropic Fund, partnered with Ronald McDonald® House Charities to begin operating the Ronald McDonald® Care Mobile, a dental office on wheels, to provide restorative and preventive dental care to underserved children across South Dakota. Since its inception, Delta Dental's mobile dental program has provided more than $13 million in dental care to more than 28,000 children in 78 different South Dakota communities.
The strong demand for the Care Mobile prompted Delta Dental to expand the mobile dental program with the addition of a 2nd truck - the Smile Mobile. Both the Care Mobile and the new Smile Mobile now operate under the program name Delta Dental's Dakota Smiles Mobile Dental Program.
The Ronald McDonald® Care Mobile is a partnership effort of Delta Dental of South Dakota, Ronald McDonald® House Charities of South Dakota, the South Dakota McDonald's restaurant owners and the South Dakota Department of Health.
The Dakota Smiles Smile Mobile partners include Delta Dental, the South Dakota Department of Health and the John T. Vucurevich Foundation. Delta Dental manages and operates both units and works with local community site partners to target those children most in need of care.
Please visit our Site Partner Information page or our Patient Information Page for a full list of qualifications, forms, and detailed information on the program.
Dakota Smiles Mobile Trucks schedule (.pdf)
Delta Dental of South Dakota (DDSD) is a non-profit dental service corporation specializing in providing dental benefit programs to more than 1,660 South Dakota employers statewide representing over 230,000 enrollees. DDSD also administers the Medicaid/SCHIP dental program for the State of South Dakota, South Dakota Department of Social Services. Delta Dental's mission is to advance and promote the improvement of oral health. We accomplishes this mission not only directly through underwriting and administering dental benefit programs, but also indirectly through the Delta Dental Philanthropic Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity established to support the company's oral health mission.
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