Investment fills gap in access to preventive and restorative dental care for individuals in need
Boston, Nov. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As part of its commitment to uplifting underserved communities and expanding access to dental care, DentaQuest this year has continued its support of free health care services to individuals in need at Missions of Mercy and similar pop-up clinics across the United States. Since the start of 2022, DentaQuest contributed $115,000 to help fund 13 clinics that provided free dental care to nearly 10,000 patients.
Free dental care days are often state-based and organized by state dental associations and their foundations, or organizations like Missions of Mercy and Remote Area Medical USA. These groups support local dentist community efforts, reinforcing the relationship between provider and patient, and enlist volunteers to help provide free health services including dental care to residents who are un- or underinsured and people who “fall through the cracks” of our health care system. DentaQuest has supported these free dental care days for over 12 years, contributing more than $1 million and countless volunteer hours, because people remain in need across the nation.
“The services that a pop-up clinic provides unfortunately remain incredibly important to ensuring all people can access dental care,” said Steve Pollock, president of DentaQuest. “At DentaQuest, we know first-hand the challenges individuals face when accessing dental coverage, which is why supporting these free care clinics is essential for millions of people – right now. The goal, however, is to eliminate the necessity of these clinics by systematically expanding dental benefits to everyone.”
In the U.S., an estimated 76.5 million adults lack access to dental insurance, three times the number of adults who lack health insurance. Uninsured people face a multitude of barriers including socioeconomic factors, racial inequity, transportation, language, cultural disconnects and more. A recent survey conducted by CareQuest Institute for Oral Health found that 29% of adults cited lack of insurance as a reason to avoid future dental care, 27% cited cost, 18% cited the COVID-19 pandemic, 11% said they had no reason to go, and 9% cited dental anxiety.
“Pop-up clinics are providing necessary preventive and restorative dental care, but it’s only the first step,” Steve continued. “Improving the oral health of all means providing access to dental care for all. At DentaQuest, we envision a future where these missions are no longer the sole solution to expanding dental care access and people nationwide can feel secure when scheduling their next dental appointment.”
DentaQuest has focused its efforts on supporting and partnering with various organizations to increase access to preventive oral health care. In September, DentaQuest and TeamSmile announced the launch of the TeamSmile Dental Home Project powered by DentaQuest, a nationwide initiative that connects children in need with long-term dental care resources and dental teams. To learn more about DentaQuest’s corporate citizenship efforts, visit https://dentaquest.com/about-us/corporate-citizenship/.
DentaQuest is a purpose-driven health care company dedicated to improving the oral health of all. We do this through Preventistry® — our inclusive approach to quality care and expanded access built on trusted partnerships between patients, providers and payors. As one of the nation’s largest and most experienced Medicaid dental benefits administrators, we manage dental and vision benefits for more than 33 million Americans through a nationwide network of providers in all 50 states. Our outcomes-based, cost-effective dental solutions are designed for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, small and large businesses, and individuals. At the same time, we are expanding our footprint of more than 70 oral health centers in six states to deliver direct patient care in rural and underserved populations. Learn more at www.DentaQuest.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
CONTACT: Farrah Phillipo DentaQuest 781-654-6764 Farrah.Phillipo@greatdentalplans.com