OneWorld Community Health Centers is ready to roll out its second mobile dental clinic for school-aged children.
The mobile clinic, dubbed the “Fluo-ride,” will visit area schools and other community sites to provide basic dental care to children who might otherwise go without such services.
Andrea Skolkin, OneWorld’s CEO, said tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Nationally, about 20% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. A Nebraska survey of third-graders indicated that 32% had an untreated cavity in 2015, the most recent year available. Nationwide, children miss more than 51 million hours of school because of dental-related issues.
The new clinic will supplement the work of the Care Mobile, which began service in 2006 in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities Omaha and other donors.
Skolkin said the Care Mobile sees about 800 underserved children a year in Omaha and surrounding communities. The new vehicle, which will be introduced next week, will allow the organization to double its capacity.
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By visiting schools, the mobile clinics allow children to get dental services without requiring parents to miss work for appointments. During the summer, the clinics stop at community locations and summer school programs. Services include exams, cleanings, filling and fluoride treatments.
Skolkin said the health center bills Medicaid or private insurance on rare occasions. There is no cost to the children.
The cost of getting the Fluo-ride up and going was about $500,000, including supplies and equipment.
The Fluo-ride mobile clinic is funded through contributions from: American National Bank, Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation, Holland Foundation, Immanuel Vision Foundation, Oliver and Ferrol Barklage Foundation, Richard Brooke Foundation, Robert B. Daugherty Foundation, and William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation.