How does Kool Smiles ensure it’s providing the highest quality of care?
Kool Smiles is a dentist-led, dentist-run organization. Our dentists have full autonomy in treatment decisions and treatment plans, are mission driven, and care deeply for the communities they serve. All new dentists are trained through our onboarding program that is designed to reinforce American Dental Association (ADA) and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) guidelines.
In addition to a robust clinical auditing and quality system, Kool Smiles uses an advanced electronic health records (EHR) system in all offices to measure and report on clinical compliance. The system is closely monitored by our dental clinical leaders to ensure that all dentists are in compliance with professional standards.
Kool Smiles dentists have at least one clinical audit per year, with the average dentist participating in 2.4 clinical audits per year. As an added layer of quality assurance, Kool Smiles also requires all new dentists to obtain digital x-rays after certain procedures, which are reviewed by experienced dental leaders.
How involved are parents in their child’s dental treatment and procedures at Kool Smiles?
Parental engagement and open communication are key components of the Kool Smiles experience. Every child’s appointment begins with a consultation explaining what the visit will entail, including treatment options and alternatives, and what the child and parent should expect. Because we want parents to be fully involved and understand all treatment options, multilingual staff and qualified interpreters are available to speak with non-English speaking families. As with any other medical procedure, no child can be treated without informed consent by his or her parent or guardian.
Parents are welcome to accompany their child during treatment, and a majority opt to do so. Our offices are designed to accommodate parents, with additional seating in treatment areas for parents and guardians.
How is the appropriate treatment for patients decided upon at Kool Smiles?
Many patients who come to a Kool Smiles office have never been to a dentist. As a result, many first-time patients come to us with significant tooth decay. Dentists at Kool Smiles follow the guidelines for dental treatment issued by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). A licensed dentist – sometimes in collaboration with a professional dental colleague – determines every treatment plan and before any treatment is completed, a child’s parent or guardian must approve and give consent to the plan.
How does Kool Smiles give back to the community?
We’ve partnered extensively with local schools, daycares and community organizations to provide much needed oral health screenings and supplies free of charge. In 2015 alone, Kool Smiles provided more than $13.5 million in dental services to children who didn’t have insurance, simply because it was in the best interest of the children and their health. Our community engagement and education programs include Operation Troop Treats, the largest Halloween candy exchange program by a dental provider in the United States; Sharing Smiles Day, a free day of dental care exclusively for children; free dental health lesson plans and dental kits for K-5 classrooms; and a homeschool scholarship program for dental health education.
Note: Kool Smiles does not provide dental care in schools or engage in mobile dentistry. Parents of children with identified dental needs are encouraged to visit a Kool Smiles office to receive treatment.