SmileMobile to participate in the Seattle/King County Clinic Feb 13-16

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Smile Mobile will be at the Seattle / King county clinic
on February 13 - 16, 2020


The SmileMobile – a mobile dental clinic that serves Medicaid-insured and uninsured children and expectant/postpartum people throughout the state – will be at Seattle Center Feb. 13-16 in support of the 2020 Seattle/King County Clinic.

The traveling dental office will join health care organizations, civic agencies, nonprofits, private businesses and hundreds of dedicated volunteers throughout the four-day event to provide free oral health care. In 2018, the large-scale health clinic provided free dental, medical and vision care and other health services to 3,661 individuals. This year, organizers expect to help more than 3,000 patients.

Based on prior years, Seattle/King County Clinic (SKCC) organizers anticipate that dental care will be the most requested service due in large part to barriers like low Medicaid reimbursement rates that make it difficult for providers to accept that coverage, and because Medicare doesn’t cover most dental procedures. The SKCC will provide a range of care, including cleanings, x-rays, fillings, extractions, crowns and root canals.

“The Seattle/King County Clinic provides immediate relief for people who have unmet needs today,” said Karri Amundson, Senior Program Officer with the SmileMobile. “But pop-up clinics and charitable events are not a long-term health policy.”


Oral health is vital to overall health and general wellbeing. Gum disease is linked to chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease and pregnancy complications. Painful cavities and missing teeth also can affect school attendance, employment opportunities, job performance, self-esteem and how others relate to you.

Among young children, cavities are the most common chronic disease. At the same time, too many Washington residents face barriers to care. Often vulnerable and underserved populations, including lower-income households, seniors on fixed incomes and families living in rural areas, experience the greatest barriers to accessing oral health care. In 2018, only 22.5% of Medicaid-insured adults and 56.6% of Medicaid-insured kids saw a dentist.

“Too many people in our communities are falling through the dental safety net,” said Arcora Foundation Policy Director Alison Mondi. “We need sustainable solutions, including water fluoridation and increased access to dental care to prevent disease and keep people healthy.”

The SKCC is organized by the Seattle Center and Seattle Center Foundation. Many of the patients treated live in King County, but the clinic has historically drawn people from all over the state.

The Clinic runs Thursday through Sunday. Free admission tickets are given first come, first served starting at 5am each morning inside Fisher Pavilion on the Seattle Center campus. Patients can expect to be at the clinic for several hours and are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing, and bring food, water and any medications they need to take during the day.

This will be the sixth Seattle/King County Clinic. Over the years, a combined total of 17,0000 volunteers have provided an estimated $17 million in direct health care services for 20,000 patients. For more information, go to http://seattlecenter.org/patients/.

For people who have difficulty finding dental care, Arcora Foundation’s DentistLink is a free referral service that aims to help people find dentist. Patients can access the no-cost service online or call/text 844-888-5465.

Arcora Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to improving oral health and health equity by partnering with communities to prevent oral disease, transform health systems, and increase access to care. Funded by nonprofit Delta Dental of Washington, the state’s largest dental benefits company, Arcora Foundation works toward a shared vision: All people enjoy good oral and overall health, with no one left behind.

The SmileMobile is made possible through a partnership between Arcora Foundation, Delta Dental of Washington and Seattle Children’s. Annually the SmileMobile provides dental care to more than 1,500 children and adults. Since its inception, the SmileMobile has seen over 44,000 clients throughout Washington. 


 

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