Even though oral disease is considered preventable, for those who are poor and vulnerable obtaining the necessary services is not always possible. That’s why Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and Health Center established the “Caring Smiles” dental program to address critical oral health needs for uninsured or underinsured patients of a health center located in the poorest census tract of the city.
Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and Health Center recognized that the health of its patients was compromised and illness was exacerbated by serious dental problems. On the advice of a dental advisory team, the hospital collaborated with local organizations that had existing dental programs. The program is managed and integrated into the operations of the services the health center provides daily, where primary care patients can be connected to dental services. No one is turned away.
Progress with oral health has fostered additional change and value for patients and their families, so that participation in maintaining good oral health is valued for future generations.