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Two Socorro ISD Teachers Win National My Kool Smiles Classroom Grant

Published by the El Paso Herald-Post

Two elementary school teachers in the Socorro Independent School District were awarded the My Kool Smiles Classroom Grant for going above and beyond to promote dental health education in the classroom.

Arleen Parada, a kindergarten teacher at Lujan-Chavez Elementary, and Crystal Leyva, a first-grade teacher at Elfida P. Chavez Elementary, were among five elementary educators in the nation to earn the $1,000 grant by the children’s dental health provider Kool Smiles and the Benevis Foundation.

Parada and Leyva won the award for their original, creative and engaging lesson plans that endorse good dental health practices.

“I used videos and engagement activities to demonstrate how they need to care for their teeth,” Leyva said. “We also created bar graphs to show how many teeth students have lost each month.”

The educators said teaching dental hygiene is vital for student’s health and their success, and is an important part of caring for the whole child in Team SISD.

“We are not just teaching our students academics, we teach them life lessons,” Parada said. “Simple things like …

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Kids Receive Free Dental Care During Sharing Smiles Day

Published by Dentistry Today

More than 550 children in 13 states and the District of Columbia received needed dental care at no cost during Kool Smiles’ Fourth Annual Sharing Smiles Day on May 20. Volunteer doctors and staff from 49 Kool Smiles offices participated in the free day of dental care for uninsured and underinsured children.

“While Kool Smiles is proud to accept many forms of insurance, including Medicaid, TRICARE, and Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage, we also recognize that too many children do not have access to dental care because they have inadequate insurance or face gaps in coverage,” said Brad Bryan, DMD, managing dental director at Kool Smiles.

“Sharing Smiles Day is one way Kool Smiles is working to close this coverage gap and help all kids get the preventive dental care and treatments they need to have happy, healthy smiles,” Bryan said.

Children who lack dental insurance are twice as likely to experience toothaches as their peers with dental coverage, report the Children’s Dental Health Project and

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Kool Smiles Serves More than 550 Children in Need During National Day of Free Dental Care

Published by PR Newswire

More than 550 children in 13 states and the District of Columbiareceived needed dental care at no cost during Kool Smiles’ 4th Annual Sharing Smiles Day, held Sunday, May 20, 2018.

Volunteer doctors and staff from 49 Kool Smiles offices participated in the free day of dental care for uninsured and underinsured children.

“While Kool Smiles is proud to accept many forms of insurance, including Medicaid, TRICARE and Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage, we also recognize that too many children do not have access to dental care because they have inadequate insurance or face gaps in coverage,” said Dr. Brad Bryan, Managing Dental Director for Kool Smiles. “Sharing Smiles Day is one way Kool Smiles is working to close this coverage gap and help all kids get the preventive dental care and treatments they need to have happy, healthy smiles.”

A child and volunteer staff member from Kool Smiles were all smiles during their annual free care day. Volunteer dentists and staff from Kool Smiles were all smiles and ready to provide free care to …

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Del. Todd Pillion works with Kool Smiles to deliver toothbrushes and oral health tips to kids

Published by SWVA Today

More than 5,000 Southwest Virginia elementary school students received toothbrushes from Kool Smiles last week thanks to the efforts of Del. Todd Pillion, R-Abingdon, Virginia.

Pillion, who is the fourth district representative and a pediatric dentist, coordinated with Kool Smiles to visit elementary schools to teach students the importance of eating healthy and brushing and flossing their teeth daily.

The fourth district encompasses all of Dickenson and parts of Wise, Russell and Washington counties.

Pillion said good oral health care is essential to the health and well-being of students.

“There’s nothing more important than the success of our students,” he said. “We know that good health — including good dental health — plays a role in their success, so I’m grateful to Kool Smiles for helping encourage good dental hygiene and providing access to quality, affordable dental care and education throughout the state.”

Kool Smiles, which is a children’s dental health provider in Virginia, regularly participates in local oral health education programs through partnerships with community leaders and organizations.

Kool Smiles dentist Dr. Medrina Gilliam …

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Kool Smiles Hosts 4th Annual Sharing Smiles Day

Published by CBS 46

Children in Hattiesburg and surrounding areas were able to get free dental care during Kool Smiles 4th annual “Sharing Smiles Day” Sunday morning.

The dental group offered services such as dental exams, simple tooth extractions, and several other treatments to uninsured or under-insured families at no cost..

Managing Dental Director Dr. Brad Bryan said in a statement that, “Sharing Smiles Day is an opportunity for our dentists and staff to give back to children and families in our community and bring smiles to those in need.”

Regional business partner with Kool Smiles Patrick Brown says since 2015, they have served over 1,400 uninsured patients during the event.

“You know this is probably one of my favorite days of the year,” Brown said. “It shows what our company really is all about of – serving the under-served and providing quality dental care.”

Brown says the Hattiesburg location serviced 20 families.

Jason Robbins says he was recently laid off his job after moving to Hattiesburg from Oregon and this event has helped his family greatly.

“It made a big deal …

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Research & Commentary: Dental Service Organizations Help Patients and Dentists

Published by the Heartland Institute 

The dental industry has taken dramatic steps toward improving its services using information technology. A new model available to dentists are dental service organizations (DSOs). DSOs are companies dental providers can choose to contract with to provide critical business management and support services, including non-clinical operations.

First launched in the late 1990s, DSOs help dental practices deal with the complexities of administration, accounting, and insurance, which can be especially daunting when dealing with state Medicaid programs. DSOs allow dentists to focus on patient care by taking the burden of office management off their shoulders. DSOs also allow dentists to expand and streamline their services, by providing their patients with new technologies, such as radiography, in-office CAD/CAM, intraoral cameras, implants, online record keeping, and scheduling. DSOs often provide training assistance for skills dentists do not traditionally have, such as business management and marketing.

In a 2012 paper by Laffer Associates, economist Arthur Laffer examined the effect of DSOs on the quality and cost of dental care. The study found DSOs allowed dentists in Texas …

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When Families Lack Insurance, Kids’ Dental Woes Rise

Published by US News & World Report

American children without dental insurance are far less likely to receive necessary care for their teeth than kids with coverage, a new survey finds.

Toothaches and other dental problems that interfere with eating, sleeping or school performance are twice as common for kids without dental coverage, researchers found.

The findings were released as Republican lawmakers discuss major changes to Medicaid and other programs that provide dental insurance to many families and children.

“This survey speaks loud and clear — coverage counts,” said Meg Booth, executive director for the Children’s Dental Health Project. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit conducted the survey.

The nationwide poll included more than 600 parents of children up to age 21.

Overall, 13 percent of parents said that in the past year their children needed dental care but weren’t able to receive it. The rate was nearly three times higher among uninsured children (26 percent) than among those with insurance (9 percent).

Cost was cited by more than half of parents as the reason why their children did not receive …

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Survey Offers More Proof that Dental Coverage Counts

Published by Georgetown University

A new national survey of U.S. parents shows that children without dental insurance were twice as likely as insured kids to have had a recent toothache or other dental problem that affected their ability to eat, sleep or concentrate in school. The survey reveals the crucial impact of dental coverage at a time when Congress is considering plans to significantly alter key programs — including Medicaid — through which many U.S. children and families are covered.

The survey of 605 parents of children up to age 21 was conducted March 3-5 by Public Policy Polling. The survey was commissioned by the Children’s Dental Health Project and sponsored by the Benevis Foundation. Other key findings from the parent survey include:

Parents of uninsured kids were nearly three times as likely to have children who went without care than parents whose kids were insured.

Within the past year, 13% of parents said their children were “in need of dental care but not able to receive it.” However, parents of uninsured kids were nearly three times as …

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The single word that would solve the Medicaid dental care access crisis

Published by Fierce Healthcare 

Our fractured medical care system might be the national headline grabber, but dental care is arguably an even bigger sore spot.

The statistics are painful: Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children. One in four dentists accepts Medicaid. Of those that accept it, less than half see more than one Medicaid patient per day.

Yet, with 48% of kids age 14 and younger on government assistance, access to quality care for economically disadvantaged children is a critical problem. And without prevention and treatment, cavities and gum disease can lead to life-threatening infections and are associated with medical problems including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and dementia.

With Medicaid reimbursement rates at a third to less than half of those for private insurance, more complicated billing processes and low-show rates for Medicaid patients, unfavorable economics drive dentists away from the very patients who need them most.

The bottom line: Lack of access to dental care has become a healthcare crisis. Yet it’s notably missing from our country’s conversation. And that’s bad news.

Here’s the good news: …

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LA medicaid dental provider surpasses $13 Million in uncompensated care for uninsured children

Published by Baton Rouge Proud

Kool Smiles, a leading provider of quality dental care for underserved children and families in Louisiana, today announced its dentists have provided $13.7 million in uncompensated dental care since 2010. The uncompensated dental care program has helped more than 115,000 patients in Louisiana receive necessary dental treatments in instances where they did not have access to the Medicaid dental benefit or other dental insurance, and could not afford to pay out of pocket for needed dental services.

“At Kool Smiles, we believe every family deserves high-quality, affordable and compassionate dental care,” said Dr. Brad Bryan, Managing Dental Director for Kool Smiles in Louisiana. “Our mission is to provide a dental home to every family who needs one by accepting insurance plans – including Medicaid and TRICARE – that many dentists do not. We also know there are times when insurance does not cover needed treatments, and families can’t afford to pay out of pocket for those services. We believe it’s our moral and professional duty to provide uncompensated care in those situations so that …

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