In children ages 5 to 17, dental caries is four times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Tooth decay is preventable with proper oral care. The tricky part is that while most community clinics treat children, many dentists in general practice do not. That’s where we come in. To expand services to low-income children, the CDA Foundation collaborated with the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry to develop and implement an innovative program to increase access – the Pediatric Oral Health Access Program®.
The program puts dentists through a 32-hour intensive training that includes lectures, case presentations, hands-on bench instruction, and advanced local anesthesia and nitrous oxide instruction.
In exchange for the free courses, private practice dentists agree to provide no-cost treatment to 20 low-income children within the first year of course completion. Additionally, participating community clinics have set a goal of an average 20 percent increase in treating children up to age 5. More than 400 dentists have been trained throughout the state providing $35 million in care for more than 100,000 children.
CDA Foundation has received generous funding for the Pediatric Oral Health Access Program® from: L.A. Care Health Plan, First 5 Los Angeles, Space Maintainers Laboratory, The California Endowment, S. Mark Taper Foundation, Baxter International Foundation and The Green Foundation.