Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s
Dental disease is a leading cause of school absenteeism and is linked to long-term systemic health threats, diabetes, and heart and respiratory disease. Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s has launched the Seton Mobile Dental Clinic to provide urgent dental services to children in Ascension’s Smart Smiles school-based oral health program.
The clinic is a coach bus outfitted with two patient areas, a sterilization area and a waiting room.
Smart Smiles provides screenings, oral health education, teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments and dental sealants to prevent cavities for students at their schools.
During the 2017 school year, Smart Smiles will provide preventive care to 11,000 children in 65 schools. Smart Smiles serves children in low-income families that have little or no dental insurance.
Last year, Smart Smiles, served 10,600 students; 4,000 had cavities and 700 of those students needed urgent care.
The Seton Mobile Dental Clinic was formed to serve those individuals.
The Columbia St. Mary’s Foundation has raised approximately $1.1 million in donations to purchase and outfit the coach, and to cover initial operating costs.
Lead donors include the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin, Evan and Marion Helfaer Foundation, Delta Dental, Children’s Community Health Plan, Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Walter and Olive Stiemke Fund and Bank of the West.
The clinic seeks to keep children in schools so they can learn, and also lay the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health.