Each year millions of children in the United States, including up to half of those with state-funded dental insurance plans, don’t receive the dental treatment they need to be healthy. Children from low-income homes, rural communities, racial minorities, and those with physical or intellectual disabilities face many barriers to dental care, including fear of the dentist due to previous uncomfortable treatments.
It only takes one painful experience in the dental chair to cause anxiety and fear of all dental treatment. That's one of the reasons why we are dedicated to increasing access to oral health care for children in need by working with corporate donors from around the globe to help safety-net dental clinics extend pain-free services to more children in need.
Since our founding in 2006, we’ve helped more than 14.4 million children, teens, and caregivers learn about oral health through our education programs, and access clinical care, school-based care, and oral health screenings through the members of our Dental Resource Program (DRP.) In addition to providing educational materials and grants through our DRP, we procure donated dental supplies and equipment to help our nonprofit members stretch their budgets and remove common barriers to dental care.
When our program members have the supplies they need to provide pain-free dental procedures, their patients are much more likely to return for routine and preventive treatments. This is especially important in low-income communities where children suffer from twice the rate of untreated tooth decay.
In the last year we've distributed more than $500,000 worth of products donated by Septodont to nonprofit clinics serving more than 100,000 kids across 18 states. The donation included PPE and Dentapens, high-end, electronic anesthetic injection devices that would otherwise be considered a luxury for clinics that often provide dental care for free. Septodont's generous donations help our members provide low-income patients with the same quality, pain-free care as their more affluent neighbors.
More than 80% of the patients treated by Apple Tree Dental are on public health plans. The clinic, located in Mounds View, MN, was one of 30 nonprofit clinics that received the donated products.
“In 2022, our oral surgery team provided more than 850 dental treatments using general anesthesia, a growing number of them are children,” said Mary Larkin, Apple Tree’s development and marketing director. In addition to children, the nonprofit clinic serves thousands of people with special needs every year. “This donation will help our skilled dental specialists to provide care to more under-resourced people who lack access to oral health care.”