Jun 21, 2012
– Providers donate $8 Million in services during first half of 2012; $14 Million in 2011 –
ATLANTA (June 21, 2012) – Kool Smiles, a leading provider of quality dental care
in underserved communities nationwide, today announced a record amount of free care
provided in its offices during the first half of 2012. With approximately $8 million in
free dental care and services donated already in 2012, the company is on track to exceed
the $14 million provided last year, firmly establishing Kool Smiles as the safety net for
dental care in the United States.
“Kool Smiles was founded because we truly believe that every person deserves a dentist,
including those without any form of insurance or ability to pay for the services,” said Dr.
Paul O. Walker, Kool Smiles Vice President for Clinical Quality and a Board Certified
Pediatric Dentist. “We’re proud that by providing free dental care, as well as care to
Americans with insurance plans that most dentists reject, we are able to fulfill our
mission of providing first-rate dental services to communities that are often overlooked or
are otherwise underserved.”
Founded in 2002, Kool Smiles operates 130 dental practices across 16 states and the
District of Columbia, primarily in underserved communities that have historically lacked
sufficient providers for the Medicaid populations. According to the Health Resources
and Services Administration (HRSA), the primary Federal agency for improving
access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically
vulnerable, approximately 80 percent of dentists do not accept patients with Medicaid
or State Children’s Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP), citing, among other reasons, low
reimbursement for their services. Kool Smiles helps provide a safety net for these
patients, with approximately 80-90 percent of its patient population consisting of
Medicaid or SCHIP enrollees.
“Although we do accept insurance plans that most dentists reject, we also recognize that
there is a significant number of patients who lack any type of coverage whatsoever,”
said Dr. Walker, “Recognizing that children who go without access to quality dental care
can face lifelong struggles and health problems, we feel it is our moral and professional
obligation to also donate our services so that every child can have a healthy, happy
According to the Pew Center’s 2011 Report on the State of Children’s Dental Health,
tooth decay is the most common diseases of childhood – five times more common
than asthma. For every child without medical insurance, there are nearly three children
without dental coverage. The Pew Center’s report cites research showing children who
do not receive dental care miss a significant number of school days, use costly emergency
room services more often and encounter worsened job prospects as adults, compared with
their peers who have access to care.
Guadalupe Segura Mata, a parent of a Kool Smiles patient in Texas who recently
received free services for her daughter, said that the availability of dental care has made
a tremendous difference in their lives. “This was the first time I was taking my 4 year-
old daughter to a dentist and the service was exceptional. My daughter was in pain and
had a hard time eating. It was painful for me too to see her in pain. Thanks to them, my
daughter now can eat. I was very worried about being able to pay for the consultation
because I don’t have insurance coverage but the people at Kool Smiles told me not to
worry. I’m very grateful for what they did for my daughter.”
With $8 million in free care provided as of June 15, 2012, Kool Smiles expects to exceed
their previous record with almost $16 million forecasted through 2012.
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