Dept. of Health Services: State awards $850,000 to increase access to dental services

Contact: Beth Kaplan

(608) 266-1683

MADISON – Nine safety net dental clinics will receive $850,000 as part of a state budget initiative to increase access to oral health care, state health officials announced today.

“This funding will allow these clinics to increase staffing and expand services to more individuals in need of dental care services,” said Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis G. Smith.

Across the state many families, older adults and those living with disabilities struggle to find quality, affordable oral health care services, especially if they are on Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus. In 2010, only 36 percent of individuals enrolled in these programs and eligible to receive dental services actually did so. Currently, 680,000 children and adults are enrolled in Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus and are eligible for comprehensive dental coverage.

“The clinics will use the new funding to help Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus enrollees obtain quality comprehensive dental care,” Smith said. “By helping to make oral health services more accessible, we will also reduce long-term health care costs associated with oral disease.”

The clinics receiving funding are:
* Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
* Madison Dental Initiative-Madison
* Brown County Oral Health Partnership-Green Bay
* Ministry Dental Center-Stevens Point
* Chippewa Valley Technical College-Eau Claire
* Rural Health Dental Clinic-Turtle Lake
* Healthy Teeth Healthy Communities-Manitowoc
* Waukesha Community Dental Clinic-Waukesha
* Bread of Healing Clinic-Milwaukee

For more information on Wisconsin’s safety net dental clinics and a list of the new grantees: