Dental disease is at “epidemic” levels among California children, according to the U.S. Surgeon General, and low-income children are disproportionately affected. The California Health Interview Survey by the Center for Health Policy Research at UC Los Angeles also found that dental problems keep California students out of class an estimated 874,000 days a year, costing schools nearly $30 million in lost attendance-based funding.
This is why over the past three years, the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC has partnered with California Resources Corporation (CRC) and the California Teachers Association (CTA) to host a series of free dental mobile clinics throughout the state.
Each of these week-long dental clinics provide much-needed dental services for up to 150 low-income elementary, middle school and high school students and their families. Students receive dental exams, cleanings, and those with the most critical needs receive dental services in specially equipped mobile dental vans. In addition to receiving services onsite, the dental clinics encourage families to visit their regular dentists for preventative care.
This partnership has already made a huge positive impact, and the need for free clinics keeps growing.