Dental cavities are the most prevalent childhood disease in the country and the primary cause of school absenteeism, yet no organized system of preventive oral health care for children exists in Milwaukee. Although more than 50% of Milwaukee Public School children are enrolled in or eligible for programs to provide dental care, very few Milwaukee children have received preventive oral health care that would improve their health and school attendance. Serving children within the schools is a winning strategy because children are comfortable there, parents can provide consents easily and the logistics of transportation for children and parents taking off of work are avoided.
The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Dental Clinic (SEASDC) strategy for care includes provision of fluoride treatments to all children; provision of dental sealants to coat healthy teeth and avoid future caries; and provision of dental hygiene prophylaxis and debridement as appropriate. Insured children with need for restorative dental care are referred to their HMO or insurance provider.
Smart Smiles has developed an efficient model of operating to deliver services to 8,431 children in FY 2015, providing 16,052 flouride treatments, 5,334 prophylactic teeth cleanings, 8,200 oral health lessons and sealants to 23,528 teeth. According to oral public health calculations, the likelihood of cavities and the expense of restorative care results in a calculation that these sealants will avoid $3.1 million in restorative care costs for teeth that would have had cavities.The State of Wisconsin, corporations, and private foundations provide funding for the program's operational expenses. The program follows best practices established for school-based dental programs by Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile for clinical and administrative operations as well as Columbia St. Mary's best practices and standards.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Dental Clinic (SEASDC)
1730 S. 13th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Robyn Kibler, Clinic Manager
Lauren Collart, Smart Smiles Supervisor
T: (414) 585-3210