Legislation Would Support Dental Services In Schools

Mar 26, 2014

Credit NPR

More school age children across Kentucky could receive dental care under legislation making its way through the general assembly.  The measure allows non-profit entities to offer only dental services. 

Northern Kentucky primary care center administrator Chris Goddard said such providers must currently offer medical and dental care at participating schools. 

"For the most part, children have medical homes, but they don't have dental homes and so this allows us to contract to do exclusive dental services and it will allow us to create dental homes within the schools for the children," said Goddard.

Goddard says the services are supported through private donations, foundations and companies. Goddard says portable chairs placed in schools offer certain advantages over dental vans. 

"What it allows us to do is set up the chairs in the school, just keep it there until we see all the children, where a mobile van you have to set it up every morning, park it at night, break it down, go and park it where ever, set it up. There are maintenance problems.  You need a driver,” added Goddard.

With fewer dentists seeing Medicaid patients coupled with the number of retiring dentists, Goddard says it's a bigger challenge to meet dental needs of children.