Dental Aid’s approach to care is patient centered. The dentist and patient together decide on a treatment plan that is manageable, affordable and reasonable. Patient involvement in decision making is essential to Dental Aid’s philosophy of care. The final goal is oral health that can be maintained over time.
Dental Aid employs specialists in children, straightening teeth and oral surgery, as well as general dentists. The combination of providers means we can meet the needs of all age groups.
Oral Health Education
While Dental Aid is an oral health care provider, our focus is larger than cleaning and restoring teeth. Dental Aid hopes to positively impact the oral health of the populations most at risk for oral disease through prevention and early intervention. Our dream is a generation of children who grow into adulthood without ever experiencing oral disease – no cavities and no gum disease! We work to achieve this dream through community outreach, oral health screenings, and patient education.
Oral Health Education and Screenings
Dental Aid’s education program includes showing age appropriate videos, distributing toothbrushes and toothpaste, and instructing children and caregivers on preventive maintenance, including brushing, flossing, fluoride, and healthy nutrition.
Dental Aid conducts non-invasive screenings for schools, health fairs and community groups. During dental screenings, a dental hygienist or assistant looks at each child’s mouth and rates oral health needs according to five categories: urgent dental needs, problems found, orthodontic consult recommended, better brushing recommended, or no problems found. A complete examination, x-rays, and cleaning are recommended for all children. The purpose of the screenings is to assess overall oral health and identify dental problems, such as severe dental caries or infection, which require immediate treatment. Parents are notified of the screening results by the school/center staff and encouraged to access dental care services.
Individual Patient Education
All Dental Aid patients receive individualized oral health education during each visit. Patients (and when the patient is a child, their parents) receive information on the benefits of brushing, flossing, fluoride, good nutrition, and regular dental visits. Patients and parents are also asked to commit to positive oral health behavior changes for themselves and their children. The result is an increase in awareness of good oral health care, not only for the patient, but for the entire family.
Why is Oral Health Important?
- 95% of all Americans are afflicted by oral disease. Oral Cancer is more common than leukemia, melanoma of the skin, Hodgkin’s disease and cancers of the brain, liver, bone, stomach, thyroid gland, ovaries or cervix.
- Each year over 164 million hours are missed from work and 52 million hours from school due to dental problems.
- Tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease of childhood.
- Almost half of U.S. school age children have experienced tooth decay in their permanent teeth.
- 25% of children and adolescents (typically from families with low incomes and minority populations) experience 80% of all dental decay occurring in permanent teeth.
- Lost work due to dental problems equates to 164,000 American workers off the job for the entire year.
- Among the 10 – 14 year old children of seasonal agricultural workers, dental care is the most common health problem, and for age 15 – 19; it is the second most common health problem.
- 140 million Americans do not have dental insurance as opposed to 43 million without medical insurance.
- Upon retiring, 85% of Americans have no dental insurance
- Dental Aid stands ready to assist those in need. In tough economic times the need for assistance to those without dental insurance or the means for care becomes more and more crucial. Please consider making a donation to Dental Aid today.
Dental Aid works in coalition with local, state, and national organizations to affect public policy recognizing the importance of oral health. Many state’s Medicaid plans have limited or no oral health benefits for adults. Additionally, many employers do not offer dental insurance with their health care benefits. Dental Aid and its coalition partners know there is a strong link between oral health and general health and advocate for equal oral health care access for all individuals.
- Boulder County Human Services Alliance
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Oral Health Division
- Oral Health Awareness Colorado! (OHAC!)
- Saint Vrain Community Council