.

Grant to Aid Special Needs Children with Dental Care

First 5 has awarded the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry $3 million so that they may provide special needs children with oral health care.

A $3 million grant will help Loma Linda University School of Dentistry provide much needed oral health care to children with special needs.

Herbert Atienza, spokesman for the LLUMC announced the funding the program Thursday. The following is the written statement they released.

About 840 children with special health care needs are expected to receive access to oral health care services each year through a $3 million grant awarded to Loma Linda University School of Dentistry by First 5 Riverside Children & Families Commission, also known as First 5 Riverside.

About 750 of the children are expected to receive follow up dental treatment each year, through the provisions of the grant dedicated to providing oral health care services to underserved Riverside County children with special health care needs through age five.

The grant will be allocated over the next four years.

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry’s Early Childhood Special Care Dental Program will deliver the services provided by the grant.

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry’s collaborative efforts with First 5 Riverside provide the growing number of families in Riverside County with access to oral health care services for their children with special health care needs, First 5 officials say.

“Oral health is a critical aspect of children’s overall health and their ability to be successful in school. Oral health concerns are a primary reason for children’s absence from preschool or kindergarten, and obviously children in pain are not prepared to learn,” says Harry Freedman, executive director of First 5 Riverside. “These oral health issues are particularly acute for children with special health care needs, and we are pleased to partner with Loma Linda University to provide this much needed service for young children with special health care needs and their families.”

“We are blessed to have these funds to serve children with special health care needs,” says Dr. Carla Lidner Baum, associate professor at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and director of the Early Childhood Special Care Dental Program.

She says the grant supports the university’s goal of reaching out and providing treatment to the underserved. The grant offers assistance to uninsured or underinsured families so that their children with special health care needs gain access to oral health care services, case management services, oral health care education for parents and caregivers of children with special health care needs, transportation, and financial assistance.

A significant barrier in obtaining dental treatment for children with special health care needs is the cost of general anesthesia, which is often required for children with special health care needs to receive dental treatment. General anesthesia is expensive and not a covered benefit of publicly funded insurance programs.

“Because these children have special health care needs, the parents often face additional challenges,” says Dr. Lidner Baum. “We serve children with dental insurance who may require assistance bridging the gap between the amount of insurance reimbursement and the actual cost of treatment.”

First 5 Riverside is a division of Riverside County Department of Public Social Services. Funded by Proposition 10 tobacco tax revenues, it supports health and early childhood education services designed to help children, prenatal through age five, develop a strong foundation for success in school and throughout their lives.

The Early Childhood Special Care Dental Program at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry previously received an award of $840,000 from First 5 Riverside for a pilot program from October 2010 through June 30, 2012. During the pilot year, 789 children with special health care needs received oral health assessments, of which 701 children were referred to dental providers for treatment.

Photo Caption: About 840 children with special health care needs are expected to receive oral health care services annually within the next four years, thanks to a $3 million grant awarded to Loma Linda University School of Dentistry by First 5 Riverside Children & Families Commission, also known as First 5 Riverside. In this file photo, Vivian Olguin, now 2, of Coachella Valley, visited the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry’s Pediatric Clinic a few months ago for a follow up after receiving inpatient dental treatment, with assistance from the Early Childhood Special Care Dental Program.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something