ORANGE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A recent study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on dental decay in the U.S. showed cavity rates dropped nationwide in 2016, but there was virtually no change among minorities living primarily in poverty.
Overall, U.S. cavity rates among children dropped from 50 percent in 2012 to 44 percent in 2016. However, Hispanic youths had a disproportionate number of cavities at 52 percent and African-American children had the most untreated cavities at 17 percent, highlighting the urgent need to inform and aid parents in these communities about the importance of regular dental visits
“Many families in Latino and African-American communities have not had access to the information about the importance of preventive visits. Culturally, visiting a dentist was saved for emergencies only,” said Corina Ramirez, DDS, pediatric clinical director for Western Dental, the largest California provider of dental care services to Medi-Cal Dental (Denti-Cal) members. “We want these communities to know about the resources available to them, which can greatly improve oral health among minorities.”
Experts at Western Dental recommend that parents find a dentist for their child by the time they turn 1. Following the initial visit, children should return every six months for cleanings and periodically for sealants to reduce the risk of developing cavities and avoid painful or costly visits in the future.
Sealants are a painless, preventive coating application that can play a huge role in reducing cavities among children. Sealants are covered by Denti-Cal, which also covers exams and cleanings every six months for children.
“Preventive visits are affordable for parents and not scary or painful for children,” Dr. Ramirez said. “Our recently renovated Western Dental Kids offices are designed with children in mind. We cater to kids and give all of them a toy or balloon to celebrate their successful visit. Parents love our preventive care program because it’s covered by Medi-Cal, so there is rarely any cost.”
As California’s leading provider to Medi-Cal Dental covered families, Western Dental is expanding its efforts to ensure education and exceptional care for underserved children.
While Western Dental serves children in all its locations, earlier this year a direct mail campaign was launched by Western Dental to educate parents about their coverage and the renovation and launch of 24 dedicated pediatric offices over the next several months. Western Dental’s first completed office is in Modesto, Calif., a community where adequate dental care has been lacking for many children.
Western Dental has also created and recruited two new positions to support the expansion of its pediatric care. Dr. Ramirez is the pediatric clinical director and Edwin Rivera is Vice President of Community and Strategic Alliances.
To ensure children can receive their preventive visit, Western Dental accepts Medi-Cal at 195 offices in California, including its Western Dental, Western Dental Kids, Children’s Dental Group, and Kids Dental Kare offices.
To learn more about Western Dental and its newly added benefits, visit www.westerndental.com or call 1-800-6-DENTAL.
ABOUT WESTERN DENTAL
Western Dental (with its affiliates, including Brident Dental & Orthodontics) is one of the nation’s largest dental providers and is the leader in accessible, affordable oral healthcare, serving approximately 2.5 million patient visits annually in 245 affiliated offices throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas. In addition to general dentistry, it offers orthodontics, oral surgery, pedodontics, periodontics and endodontics in its offices, creating a convenient full service “Dental Home.”
In California, Western Dental is the leading provider of services to both adults and children in the Medi-Cal Dental program – part of the public insurance program that provides health care benefits for more than 13 million low-income individuals and families. Western Dental dentists provided care to more than a half-million Denti-Cal beneficiaries in 2017 and is committed to continuing to partner with the State to help improve the program.
All of Western Dental’s services are backed by a unique quality assurance system that monitors patient visits, treatments, dental staff and clinical performance to enable high-quality care.