One of the major health concerns for children in our community is the lack of dental care for those not covered by Medicaid or dental insurance. In fact, school teachers and nurses report that many children in our community lack regular dental care. The discomfort and bad appearance associated with poor dental hygiene can affect not only children’s performance in the classroom but also their self-esteem.
Children’s Dental Services was created in 2001 to provide dental care for children who have no dental insurance and whose families are unable to afford dental insurance. All services are provided by local dentists and their staff. Over 57 dental professionals volunteer their time to improve oral health of children in our community. Patients are seen during normal office hours at dental clinics in the Shreveport-Bossier City area.
To qualify for treatment the child must:
Income eligibility is determined by comparing the gross income of all members of the household to the federal poverty level guidelines. Gross income is defined as an individual’s pay, earnings or any monetary contributions before taxes and deductions.
For each patient, we must receive a completed application packet along with required documentation of residency and income. Acceptance is based on a household’s income level and the number of individuals supported in the household. Final approval for eligibility is made by the board of directors of Children’s Dental Services.
Patients must perform good oral hygiene practices, keep all appointments and pay the nominal $5 fee per office visit. Failure to do so may result in permanent discharge from Children’s Dental Services.
Each child MUST be accompanied by his or her legal guardian at the first appointment. At this appointment, dental staff will demonstrate proper oral hygiene and explain the decay process. The parent/guardian must also sign the proposed treatment plan and release for treatment.
Any family with a child that meets the eligibility criteria and resides in northwest Louisiana is welcome to apply. For information on how to obtain an application packet, please call (318) 212-6363. Applications are available for pick up or can be mailed to your home.
A completed application packet must contain:
A community service of
Northwest Louisiana Dental Volunteers
Willis-Knighton Project NeighborHealth