Greater Cincinnati Oral Health Council Becomes CincySmiles Foundation
Since 1909, the CincySmiles Foundation (CSF), formerly known as the Greater Cincinnati Oral Health Council, has been assuring that members of our community have access to oral health education, oral disease prevention, and treatment services. CSF has a special emphasis on those who are at high risk and vulnerable for high rates of oral disease and low rates of treatment. Established in 1909 as a small dental screening program in area schools, with the support of local, state and federal grants from government agencies, foundations and private donations, CSF has grown and expanded to its current broad range of case finding, case management and school-based disease prevention and clinical programs, all of which provide care to a variety of special population groups.
The CincySmiles Foundation is the only agency in the Greater Cincinnati area with a primary focus of creating access to dental care for all needy populations.
- OPTIONS/Donated Dental Services (DDS)
Approximately 275 dentists in private practice across Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio volunteer to donate or substantially discount dental care for low income persons who are not eligible for public assistance. Expanding on a model developed in Colorado, CincySmiles began this program in southwest Ohio in 1989. For the past 19 years, our staff has coordinated the eligibility process and provided case management services for about 1,000 people every year. In the 2007-2008 program year, area dentists provided about $750,000 in dental care to needy individuals and familes.
- School-Based Dental Disease Prevention Program
With fluoride protecting the smooth surfaces of teeth from dental decay, the areas most prone for cavities are the biting grooved surfaces of back teeth. Sealants are plastic coatings which when applied to these surfaces prevent dental decay. Since 1984, CSF’s school-based dental sealant program has been recognized as the model for similar programs in a growing number of communities across the country. Reaching children in Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Adams, Brown Clermont and Highland counties, the dental sealant program staff applies more than 20,000 sealants to 6,000 children annually.
- The Dental Road Crew
This two chair state-of-the-art dental office on wheels visits Cincinnati public schools and area Head Start programs to provide comprehensive dental care to children and adolescents in need. The Road Crew staff will treat more than 2,000 children in 2008, children who would not otherwise receive care. Children can watch movies and listen to music on wireless headsets to keep them distracted as they receive treatment which has often been postponed for years.
- Head Start – Early Childhood Initiative
CincySmiles has partnered with Head Start programs in Clermont, Butler and Hamilton counties to assist their 5,000 enrolled children with access to dental exams and treatment. The program aims to assure that all Head Start children will get a healthy start in life. The program is funded by grants from the federal government and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. A new program component provides training for pediatricians so they can better identify the dental needs of infants and toddlers and apply needed preventive care.
- Lincoln Heights & Middletown Dental Centers
The Regional Family Dental Center of the HealthCare Connection at Lincoln Heights was designed and entirely managed and staffed by CSF. The beautiful 8-chair dental facility provides comprehensive dental care to 3,500 low income children and adults from Hamilton, Butler and Warren Counties. This is one of the few places the working poor can go to get quality dental care at fees based on their income level. The Center serves 8-10 people with dental emergencies every day in addition to scheduled appointments. It is associated with the HealthCare Connection, a federally funded health clinic with a 20-year history of serving low income Valley residents. In 2008, CincySmiles partnered with the Butler County Health Care Consortium to re-open a three-chair dental center in the Middletown Health Center. CSF also provides all management services for this program. These two dental centers are the primary sources of dental care in Northern Hamilton, Butler and Warren counties for the indigent. Both clinics have bilingual staff to better address the growing Hispanic population.